Nathan Fillion can’t get enough of his time playing Captain Mal on Firefly. So much that he’s apparently reviving his iconic sci-fi role on… American Housewife?
Yes, you heard that right! The actor is set to guest-star on the hit ABC sitcom later this season in a two-episode arc that apparently sees him donning the iconic brown coat and pants of his counterpart -- space captain Malcolm “Mal” Reynolds.
News of a Firefly tribute first surfaced in teases the Alphabet net and Fillion posted to social media. While ABC noted he’s playing himself, Fillion couldn’t resist referencing his swashbuckling character in a series of charming Instagram pics.
Joss Whedon’s futuristic space-opera-cum-western premiered on Fox in 2002 and ran for just 14 episodes before it was abruptly canceled due to low ratings.
However, Firefly developed a cult following that grew rapidly once the sci-fi series was released on DVD, prompting Universal Pictures to give the Buffy the Vampire Slayer mastermind full rein to make a big-screen version, 2005’s Serenity.
And while that flick failed to catch fire at the box office, the Firefly mystique has continued to grow through adventures in comic books, games, and other media, with Fillion helping keep the flame alive by inviting some of his old co-stars to guest on his popular ABC mystery, Castle, and dressing up in Mal’s costume for a special Halloween-themed episode.
It’s not known exactly how Fillion's Firefly nod fits into the American Housewife storyline (maybe Katie takes the kids to Comic Con, where they meet him in character? Or witness filming of the show's fictional revival?). But for Firefly fans itching for their hero’s return, it’s certainly something to celebrate.
Whatever the plot, Nathan's playing it pretty close to the vest.
Fillion’s two-episode stint is expected to run sometime in the spring, though ABC has yet to announce a specific airdate. Now in its second season, American Housewife airs Wednesdays on ABC at 9:30 p.m. ET/8:30c.