NYCC Con Man panel fulfilled our Firefly dreams
It really shouldn’t be a shock that the cast of the new Vimeo series Con Man delivered one of the most fun panels of this year’s New York Comic Con — they’ve been friends in real life for years, and they all have an undying love for conventions like this one and all the people who attend them.
The silliness began right away, as stars Alan Tudyk and Nathan Fillion came on stage behind cardbord cut-outs of one another. Throughout the panel, the cast was constantly cracking one another up, and the audience as well. Felicia Day had to take a moment after she and Seth Green started riffing about if someone cosplaying as Daenerys Targaryen has brought three Chihuahuas along with her to a McDonalds. The pair were also all giggles when they began to imagine how a kung fu movie would look as a laugh track sitcom. It was clear these actors were having as much fun as the audience.
And the panel really was all about the fans. Tudyk, who created and stars in the semi-autobiographical Con Man as struggling actor but convention superstar Wray Nerely, thanked the audience excessively for making the series possible. The show was made possible through crowdfunding site Indiegogo, where 46,000 fans contributed $3.2 million for Tudyk to make his idea a reality.
“I figured, well the fans helped us make a movie once…” Tudyk quipped, in reference to Serenity, the fan-demanded film sequel to Tudyk and Fillion’s shortlived cult hit Firefly.
Tudyk also saw the merit in going to the fans for funding rather than a network, saying that he was uncomfortable with how some shows and news stations look at comic conventions as a meeting of freaks and weirdos. “We didn’t want them to touch it,” Tudyk said of networks.
The highlight of the panel was an exclusive sneak peak of an upcoming episode — with a guest star who elicited earsplitting cheers from the audience. In the scene, Tudyk is recording voices for a video game with co-star Nolan North and guest star Milo Ventimiglia (Gilmore Girls, Heroes). Then, the camera pans out of the recording studio, revealing that the woman running the sound booth is none other than Gina Torres, who played Tudyk’s wife Zoe in Firefly.
“I asked everyone [from Firefly] to be on the show,” Tudyk remarked to cheers. And he wasn’t kidding! We may not get another season or film of the beloved space Western, but nearly all of the actors from it appear in Con Man. Tudyk rattled off the list of Serenity crewmembers who appear in Con Man, including Summer Glau, Jewel Staite, Sean Maher, and creator Joss Whedon — a Browncoat’s dream come true.
All of the Con Man panelists said they were willing to come back for more episodes and seasons given the chance, though Fillion quipped: “If Alan starts making a second season, I’ll cancel it… Then we’ll make a movie, and then we can kill him in it.”
It’s still too soon to joke, Nathan!