You Can't Take the Lie from Me

Published Jul 9, 2015

NEWS:   Rumors of a Firefly reboot circulated on Twitter, likely due to misinterpretation of a tweet sent by Jewel Staite.

It's been well over a decade since the much-lamented cancellation of the sci-fi program Firefly, but its devoted fan base remains eager for the show to return to air (so much so that jokes about its cancellation and return are a meme unto themselves).

Cyclical rumors about a Firefly reboot aimed at the show's fans crop up from time to time (often on April Fool's Day), to either drive traffic somewhere or due to a misunderstanding of some description. A combination of the former and the latter appears to have happened in July 2015, due to the existence of a hoax page and a tweet sent by one of the show's stars.

On 8 July 2015, Jewel Staite (the actor who portrayed Serenity's mechanic Kaylee Frye) tweeted:

It seems that simply by placing the word Firefly in close proximity to the word "reboot" stimulated fan hopes and led to some buzz about the show returning to TV (or Netflix). Soon, a link titled "Whedon Confirms: Firefly Getting Reboot With Original Cast" began to circulate on social media sites. It was hosted on a site called, and the page's first few paragraphs (before some nonsense filler text) stated:

With Castle wrapping up, [creator Joss] Whedon was happy to announce that he and Fox have been able to regain the original cast of the cult hit, and pre-production will be starting next year. The new series will focus on the desperado adventures of the Serenity crew[.]

However, readers who scrolled down were immediately met with a message indicating the article was a hoax (and an encouragement to share it to subsequently mislead their own friends), and it's clear the claim has been circulating for several months at the very least:

One commenter on Reddit replied:

Theres a very special level of hell for people like you. A level they reserved for child molesters and people who talk at the theater.

Nathan Fillion (who portrayed Captain Malcolm Reynolds on Firefly and in its film counterpart Serenity) addressed statements he'd made previously about a revival of the show in a March 2015 interview:

[INTERVIEWER]: Nathan, you once joked that if you won the lottery the first thing you'd do is buy the rights to Firefly and turn it into a web series. Which, of course, prompted fans to immediately start raising money.

NATHAN FILLION: Yeah. I paid the price for that, didn't I?

[INTERVIEWER]: Any regrets about making that statement?

FILLION: Yes. I thought it would be funny. That people would go, "Aww, that warms my heart." And I accidentally rallied the troops. So I'm really careful about that now.

Since Firefly's cancellation in 2002, reviving it in forms other than the film Serenity has been described as logistically impossible (or nearly so) by Joss Whedon:

Step 2: Cancel Castle. Step 3: Cancel Homeland. Step 4: Generally destroy everybody's careers. Step 5: Avoid Step 2.

Efforts by fans to crowdsource a reboot of the show led to similar disappointment in 2011, and a revival of the show in any form looks no likelier today.

Kim LaCapria is a former writer for Snopes.

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