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SYFY WIRE Serenity

Gina Torres says original ‘Serenity’ crew still keeps coms open with a dedicated ‘Firefly’ text chain

‘We really are each other's friends and allies and cheerleaders.’

By Benjamin Bullard
Gina Torres, Nathan Fillion in Serenity (2005)

As last sci-fi hurrahs go, it’s hard to top Serenity. Universal Pictures’ fan-favorite space western came as a huge boon to the legions of Firefly TV faithful who, as time would prove, turned out to have a keen eye for quality all along. After all, unless you were lucky enough to catch the short-lived show when it actually aired, informed word of mouth served as the main pointer toward its postmortem 2003 release on DVD…until, of course, Serenity set out in 2005, to give the series a far more satisfying big-screen sendoff.

Just like the fans themselves, the cast of Serenity and its Joss Whedon-created TV predecessor knew they were onto something special, a vibe that Universal further validated by waving the movie through for production. Speaking recently with Entertainment Weekly, star Gina Torres confessed she was flabbergasted that the studio somehow grasped the appeal of making a science fiction movie that itself was based on a canceled TV series.

RELATED: ‘Resident Alien’ star Alan Tudyk’s best genre roles, from ‘Serenity’ to ‘Star Wars’

“It was this feeling of complete and utter disbelief because that never happens,” said Torres, who played Zoë Washburne, the titular ship’s second in command under Nathan Fillion’s iconic captain Malcolm Reynolds. “Successful television shows get reboots, get movie of the weeks, but certainly not a feature film.”

Whedon reportedly gathered the original cast to break news of the movie’s green-light status over dinner. Though two decades have since passed, Torres said the bonds Firefly forged among the actors was real — so real, in fact, that the gang still stays in touch via a dedicated Firefly text chain.

"The cast of Firefly has continued to have our own little text message thread," Torres shared with EW. “We really are each other's friends and allies and cheerleaders.”

Thanks to its big Fox buy-out, Disney now owns the franchise rights to Firefly, inspiring loads of recent speculation that a series revival or reboot could happen at some point. There’s no way on Earth (or in space, for that matter) to know whether the original gang would be involved in that kind of comeback — though Torres definitely treasures the time she’s already spent with her old crewmates.

“What’s weird is I know a lot of people that have [since] gotten to work with all of my co-stars,” said Torres, “but, of course, I would love to see them all again.”

A Firefly reunion would definitely make for an all-star mix of acting eclectics. In addition to Fillion and Torres, both the series and the movie featured a standout ensemble cast, held down by fan-favorite highlights from Morena Baccarin (as the oh-so-discreet Inara Serra), alongside current SYFY Resident Alien star Alan Tudyk (as Wash, Zoë’s affable wisecracking husband who always pulled his weight with Mal as the Serenity’s ace pilot).

While the Serenity itself may be docked for an extended well-earned rest, both the series and the movie still live on via streaming. In fact, you can dial up Serenity straight from the source at Universal Pictures’ digital storefront.

Looking for more deep space adventure? Check out SYFY's new original series The Ark, which airs new episodes at 10 p.m. ET on Wednesdays, and stream next-day on Peacock.