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Wherein I Nightmare Cast A "Firefly" Reboot That Would Make Even Reavers Give Up The Black

By Rob Payne | Seriously Random Lists | July 13, 2012 | Comments ()


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Earlier this week I shared my "dream cast" for a reboot of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," assuming Joss Whedon retained control over the character's and the franchises' rights. I think it's safe to say that for a few exceptions that list went over better than I hoped. But some readers claimed the SRL was proof that I (and by association anyone who didn't hate it) clearly don't even understand the show I love so much. To those readers, and in honor of today's "Firefly" and Serenity reunion at San Diego Comic Con, I would like to offer a glimpse into the worldview of someone who really, truly, deeply doesn't get something: The Worst Possible Cast Imaginable for a Firefly/Serenity Film Reboot.

If you thought the Reavers were scary, you ain't seen nothin' yet.


First and foremost, the script would be painstakingly crafted by Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer the two writer/director/creative geniuses behind such comedy classics as Spy Hard, the Scary Movie series, the Movie Movie series, and others that fall in the same vein but have even cleverer titles like Meet the Spartans, Vampires Suck, and the upcoming The Starving Games. Their new script, subtitled Serenity is the Name of the Ship, Too, Get it?, would undoubtedly entice the master craftsmen and cinematic auteur behind Money Talks, Rush Hour, Rush Hour 2, Rush Hour 3, and X-Men: The Last Stand that we all lovingly know as Brett Ratner. (You can call him Shrimp Dick, if you're nasty.) As a bonus, once the movie is released and becomes a huge worldwide hit, the ever classy director will likely tweet about how much more money his version of the film made than Whedon's, thus assuring all of us everywhere how good it really is and what an amazing filmmaker Ratner must be. It's a hit, you guys, come on! Of course that means it's great.

And it would be a hit, because with this cast, how couldn't it be?

Charlie Sheen as Captain Mal Reynolds
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Considering that Sheen's most recent personal catchphrase was "Winning!", and he most certainly was, it might seem antithetical to cast him as the consistent loser that is Malcolm Reynolds. But the Cap is best known for his wit (as is Sheen, check), his inability to quit (check), his tough love exterior and even tougher love interior (check and check), his penchant for escorts (that's a check), and his drop dead sexiness (quadruple tiger blood check, baby), so why exactly is Sheen wrong for the part? Exactly. He's not, he's perfect.


Tyler Perry as Zoe Washburne
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Oh, sure, there are plenty of talented African American actresses who could play the part of Zoe -- maybe not as awesomely as Gina Torres, but maybe so? -- but none of them are as talented as Perry. Obviously. Why else would he consistently cast himself in the lead role of the Hollywood stereotype of an elderly black woman in all of his movies? If you don't think Perry could pull this off, just watch this teaser for the latest Madea flick and then tell me I'm wrong.


Nick Swardson as Hoban "Wash" Washburne
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Swardson hasn't gotten the kindest reviews around here lately, but that doesn't mean he isn't a thoughtful artist who crafts dick, poop, and masturbation jokes for the entertainment of several of Adam Sandler's closest friends. To that end, he'd fill Alan Tudyk's flight suit wonderfully as the grown-ass man-child and ship's pilot, Wash. Can you imagine how delightful he'll be when playing with those dinosaurs and flirting hilariously with Tyler Perry? I can't, but I'm not Nick Swardson.


Justin Bieber as Dr. Simon Tam
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Who else could play the super confident and capable with the ego to back it up, but still be charmingly boyish, ship's surgeon? Like Dr. Simon, Bieber made a name for himself being preternaturally brilliant at a very young age and that personal experience ought to transfer beautifully to his performance here. Because the audience cares for the real Biebs so much, they'll be extra invested in his sister's daring escape and in his budding romance with Kaylee. Plus, his cover of the "Firefly" theme song for the soundtrack would be instantly catchy and worthy of all the radio play it will contractually get, unlike that groaning sapfest original.


Selena Gomez as River Tam
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I don't really know a thing about Gomez, other than that she's young, petite, and doesn't look terrible in a dress. Sounds like Summer Glau's River Tam to me, and being from Nickelodeon she can probably handle most of her own stunts. Plus, wouldn't it be, like, totes adorbz for real life couple Gomieber (Biebez?) to play brother and sister? In the immortal words of Paris Hilton: That's hawt.


Steve-O as Jayne Cobb
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Throughout the show and movie, we constantly learn that Jayne is a rebel who plays by his own set of rules and doesn't suffer anyone he thinks is a fool kindly, despite being mostly a fool hisself. Fits the boys from the Jackass mold to a T, if you ask me, and nobody would fit that T better than the legendary Steve-O. Or maybe it's a lower case "t"? Either way, Steve-O would nail it -- figuratively and literally.


Taylor Momsen as Kaylee Frye
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Momsen first became known as the cute little moppet from Jim Carrey's Christmas masterpiece, How the Grinch Stole Christmas (not to be confused with that boringly paced and terribly narrated cartoon original). Ship's mechanic Kaylee was nothing if not cute, right? But she was also surprisingly frank about sex and reveled in getting filthy, like with grime and grease and real life dirt. Lo and behold, that's exactly who Momsen is now! It's almost like the actress/underground rock gladiatrix has been preparing for this moment all of her life.


Sasha Grey as Inara Serra
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As Cap'n Mal was often fond of saying, Inara was a whore; one who seemed to specialize in "the girlfriend experience." 'Nuff said.


Chris Tucker as Shepherd Book
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We started with a Ratner player and now we end with a Ratner player, which I guess is a kind of meta-reference to Whedon's stable of actors and actresses. It's only fitting, then, that Tucker return from his self-imposed retirement from movies to reunite with his most common collaborator. Also, did you know he's a Born Again Christian? His Book would be able to school Ron Glass's in Bible quotes without having any of that distracting hair. And he'd do it all while talking faster than the Micro Machines Man and dropping F-bombs every other word, just like God intended. Unlike the first time out, his death scene is going to be the most satisfying part of the entire film.


Don't worry, my fellow Browncoats, this movie, or something like it, will never happen. "Firefly" and Serenity remain too cult-like in their fandom to spend even Scary Movie 5 money on. In this case, as much as we want to see the crew's adventures continue, we're far better off without them, so we probably don't have to worry. Unless both Joss Whedon and Fox suddenly find themselves in desperate need of income and relevance simultaneously, which is far less likely a scenario than fully recovering from a giant metal spike through the heart after piloting your ship to safety after its engines were blown out by cannibalistic space zombies and uttering one of the most tragic lines of dialogue in film history. Too soon?

On a more serious note (I know, right?) I would now like to give my personal appreciation to Joss Whedon and the cast and crew of the TV show and its film adaptation for making this list possible. Without them and the very special universe that they created together, ours would be far, far lesser. Nothing can or will ever replace the Serenity in our hearts, and that's probably why we love the short-lived show as much as we do. It's a remarkably similar feeling to the one Nathan Fillion often expressed as Mal, about his ship and his shipmates, and I imagine that's why the show continues to live on so long after it's official demise. So, congratulations on being one of the most powerful forces in the 'verse for ten years, "Firefly." Here's to another ten more and so, so many re-watches. Thanks for being shiny.

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To those of you able to attend the actual reunion happening today (or, right now depending on when you're reading this) at SDCC: I hate you, please be my friend and tell me what happened.


Rob Payne also writes the indie comic The Unstoppable Force, tweets on the Twitter, tumbls on the Tumblr, and his wares can be purchased here. He can definitely be a groaning sapfest, but he's looked into the abyss and he isn't sure he came out unscathed.




Eloquent Eloquence: 13 Things Better than Scarlett Johansson in The Avengers | The Do-Deca-Pentathlon Review | Brothers Gotta Hug!






Are you following Pajiba on Facebook or Twitter? Every time you do, Bill Murray crashes a wedding.


Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not


  • Nadine

    God I hate the dress Summer Glau is wearing in that last picture. I realise it's hard for her to wear any other kind of dress near that cast without us all thinking she turned up in character but legit, is she a stripper now?

  • TheKoiPolloi

    Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal, Rob Payne.

  • Justin Kuhn

    Why did you put this into the universe. damn.

  • Johnnyseattle

    While I did laugh at this, I am a superstitious person, and I don't think it's a good idea you saying this stuff out loud, as someone might take it seriously.

  • Strand

    Good Lord. I blame Rob Payne for putting this in my brain.

  • No Pithy Name

    Selena is actually pretty good, though a bit snarky for River. More of a Wash, I think.

    And Grey as Inara is a choice I can get behind. Because I hear she likes that.

  • Uriah_Creep

    KATY PERRY AS INARA.

  • thaneofmemphis

    Firefly 1970

    Mal: James Garner
    Zoe: Julie Newmar
    Wash: Ben Murphy
    Inara: Anne Francis
    Jayne: Clint Walker
    Kaylee: Karen Valentine
    Simon: Michael Ontkean
    River: Lisa Loring
    Book: Greg Morris

  • Katylalala

    Well I don't care what everyone else says: I think it's genius!

  • Melissa

    Dude, Selena Gomez is a Disney Channel kid...if you can't even get that one little fact right, how can we even take this list seriously, hmm?

  • lemps

    Halfway through that, I actually cried.

  • Clancys_Daddy

    Rob if I have nightmares over this I am coming to your house pissing in your Wheaties and suing you for the cost of therapy.

  • NateMan

    The one issue with this list is Sasha Grey. Sure, she did porn. But she can also act, and can certainly be sensual. That makes her a great fit for Inara. The others are great parodies of casting, truly terrible public presences that would destroy the roles they were in. I can't help but feel like you went "Well, Sasha Grey did porn, ergo she'd be as shitty at playing Inara as Steve-O would be at Jayne." And that's kind've crappy.

  • I've seen her act outside of porn. I stand by the choice.

  • AngelenoEwok

    *looks at the ledge outside my window consideringly*

  • Maguita NYC

    I really can't help myself....

    But... Do you need a shove?

  • Maguita NYC

    I have one problem though with your shittastic diarrhea-inducing reboot: Sasha Grey. You do understand the difference between porn actress genius, and real whore. Right?

    Shouldn't Chris Tucker be actually playing the role of Inara?

  • She also starred in a movie from Soderbergh where she played a pro that was called The Girlfriend Experience.

  • Maguita NYC

    And she played her role in Entourage as the "f-cked-up ex-porn actress who will f-ck-up your head and your life" to perfection.

    But you intimated that she would easily play whore because of her obvious background... No? And for this, I suggest Chris Tucker to be much more appropriate.

  • Muhnah_Muhnah

    Directed by Michael Bay.

  • TheOriginalMRod

    Is that Corey Feldman in the header pic?

  • jon29

    This is like, the worst rape joke ever.

  • John W

    Please stop!

  • competitivenonfiction
  • Mr_Zito

    What was the point of that? This is just a list of terrible actors (and non-actors). Ok, Rob, listen, I wanna like you, and I wanna help you, but if you wanna make a joke, it has to be a joke, it has to be funny, otherwise it's just stupid. Not that you are stupid, you are smart, but you took your time to write a "funny post" and I guess you just didn't stop to think about why it would be funny, you just assumed that because it was not serious it would be funny. I realize it's not easy to be funny, but at least don't waste your time writing something that's so clearly not.

  • thatguy

    Maybe you just didn't get the joke. It's cool. I don't understand why people think pictures of kittens with misspelled words are funny, but I see them every day on Facebook, and people seem to love them. That doesn't mean the joke has failed. It just means I don't understand why it's funny.

  • chanohack

    I got the joke. It WAS funny.

  • KatSings

    I can't take the time to laugh at the joke of this because I'm too busy having seizures from the mental images your horror has brought upon me.

  • I know this is fake, ok? I KNOW. Nevertheless, it still sends me into a state of catatonic depression because I also know that more people would watch this abomination than the original, and I once again descend into misanthropy.

  • Vi

    oh, so that's what it feels like to have Rob's phallus press into my brain via the eyesocket as he skullfucks me with this shit.

  • greg and everyone else

    rob go fuck yourself

  • boo

    Steve-O as Jayne literally made me spit coffee. That shit is hilarious. Awful hilarious, like laughing at small child's temper tantrum while a feeble grandparent tries desperately to control them, but hilarious nonetheless.

  • boo

    Actually, it's the picture that's hilarious. Now that I have actually swallowed my coffee.

  • The awfulness of the nightmare cast just highlights how incredible the real cast was. They were all so great I'm not sure it would be worth it to bring it back unless they could all come back.

  • lowercase_see

    I have all kinds of feels because a) RAR and b) every time someone references that line I get all weepy and now it's back to work with me and this is going to be so not easy.

  • jthomas666

    You will burn in a Miley Cyrus concert for all eternity, you bastard.

  • JentheAmazing

    WHY GOD WHY.

  • jmd

    And when I heard that the reunion was being filmed I said "Yay!". Then they said it wasn't being aired until No-freaking-vember and I wanted to give them all to River to dismember...

  • Jerce

    I will kill you. I will kill your mama for the unforgivable offense of bearing you. I will kill your neighbors for the sin of not having already killed you.

    I will spend my life inventing time travel for the sole goal of erasing every trace of your existence from the archives of human knowledge.

    Oh Jeebus my very soul has been defiled.

  • You know the list is a goof, right? I spend like two paragraphs describing it as a terrible idea. Simply turrbull.

  • Jerce

    You know the death threats are a goof, right? Perhaps I am more talented than I realize. You can come out from under the bed and put the pepper spray back in your mom's purse. And BTW, it's spelled "tebble."

  • I'll chalk it up to being prepared for that as a legitimate response and assumed the worst. Call it: Post Traumatic Blogging Syndrome.

  • We are a fearsome bunch.

  • Maguita NYC

    I think your snark came off too sincere.

    What with the lack of the oh-so-helpful emoticons, we can't recognize irony from psychotic breakdown.
    Here you go: ;)

  • Fabius_Maximus

    Where's the fun in that?

  • BWeaves

    Of course Jerce knows it's a goof. But that doesn't stop us for wanting to kill Rob for even THINKING this.

  • This is what success brings: readers who can't actually read words that are there for the reading. On behalf of the never-silent, obnoxious majority, accept a group apology.

  • boo

    Dudes: I'm pretty sure Jerce knows it's a spoof, but is still commenting on the horror raping of a modern classic. I mean, come on: two words would make it clear for anyone: Justin Bieber. And also: isn't this the whole point of the post? A nightmare casting? I think you hit the nail, based on Jerce's comment. So really, it should be taken as: success.

    Unless, of course, I've just been gone WAAAAY too long, and that Jerce is not the Jerce I remember, and somehow the sarcastic, ironic undercurrent that ran like a river under the site has dried up into a dripping puddle of seriousness.

  • Cheers!

  • Jezzer

    I've never watched "Firefly" beyond the "Serenity" movie, and even I want to hurt you over this list. :(

  • TheOtherGreg

    Outstanding. May I add: Stephen Tyler as The Reaver.

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