13 Fun Facts About Joss Whedon's SERENITY

Serenity brought Joss Whedon’s Firefly crew back together for a big screen adventure that would be their last. It was the first feature film that Whedon directed, and he's sure come a long way since then. I’m a huge fan of these characters, and the movie was completely awesome!

Seeing the filmmaker receive the Comic-Con Icon Award last weekend sparked my interest in going back and looking at some of his earlier work. In the process, I thought Serenity would make a great Fun Facts list, so here are 13 fun facts about the movie that you may or may not know.

A lot of the information here comes from Imdb, and I've included some of my own commentary as well as videos for you to watch. 

  • Whedon has revealed that Chiwetel Ejiofor, Nathan Fillion, Summer Glau, and Sean Maher all performed a lot of their own stunts. Glau is actually a trained dancer, and she used her dancing skills in River's two fights. “For the second fight, the cameraman, who was also a dancer, moved through a gap around the combatants to achieve the movie's dynamic camera angles.”
  • You can see some crates in the cargo bay just after a Reaver is shot that have "Reusable Container: Do Not Destroy" printed on them. This was apparently an inside joke because the ship set had to be rebuilt from scratch for the movie. The original ship from Firefly was destroyed.
  • Fillion supplied the blueprints that were used to build the ship set for the film after being informed at a production meeting that the originals had been lost. When he was on the TV series he took photos of all the preproduction materials, including the blueprints.
  • Whenever the cast would mess up on a line or forget to do something during the shooting of the film they would yell out Summer Glau's name. This was an ongoing gag that originated from the TV series after Glau forgot her line at the end of a long and difficult scene. Here's a video of her talking about the experience:
  • To put River to sleep, Dr. Simon Tam says, "Eta Kooram Nah Smech!" which is Russian for "This is very ridiculous."
  • Just in case you didn’t know, if you go to the main menu screen of the DVD, keep clicking "left" until you light up a triangle with a dot in the center on the right side of the screen. The icon will take you to the full Fruity Oaty Bar commercial. In the DVD commentary, Whedon said that he wanted the commercial to be as odd as possible. He said it was heavily inspired by the "Mr. Sparkle" advertisement from The Simpsons: In Marge We Trust.
  • This was the first Universal film released on HD-DVD. I own this!
  • In the White City, one of the crew examines a mummified corpse inside a car. Stencilled on the car's side is "C57D." This was also the serial number of the saucer ship in "Forbidden Planet."
  • It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia star Glen Howerton (Dennis Reynolds) was in an early part of the movie during the bank robbery. He was the guy who begged them to take him with them during their escape.
  • Whedon said that if the Firefly TV series would have kept going, Season 2 would have concluded with the Serenity crew discovering the Miranda planet and uncovering the origin of the Reavers.
  • Whedon said that the reason Wash and Book were killed off in the movie was due to the fact that actors Alan Tudyk and Ron Glass couldn't commit to sequels. "Universal Pictures wanted all the main actors who would appear in the sequels to be contractually available, meaning Whedon had to find a way of getting Tudyk and Glass out of the story. (In his original script, before he knew they couldn't commit, all members of the crew survived, with Zoe and Wash promising to have children together.) Despite this Whedon has also revealed that there was a 'strong possibility' that Wash and Book would return if a sequel ever was made -- indicating that he had plans to find a way to bring them back. In the Official Serenity Companion, he acknowledged that it would have to be done in a way the audience would buy."
  • Several of the Reaver ships in the final battle are Alliance ships with different paint schemes.
  • The reaver ship that was destroyed by the gun mounted on Serenity is called "Betty," and it was from the film Alien Resurrection, which Whedon worked on.

Below you'll find the original trailer for the film, along with a blooper reel and behind-the-scenes featurette: