In my years on this planet I’ve arrived at two infallible truths: Ranch dressing has no discernible equal, and Nathan Fillion needs to star in a goddamn blockbuster movie already. I’ve had enough of the Twitter campaigns, blog posts, speculation, want, lust, need, and all manner of gripping your knees in a cold shower and throwing empty vodka bottles at the toilet like a wild beast, some hungry and hurt thing, finally huffing its mauled flesh off into a ditch to die alone. What 30-story bronze leviathan must rise from the ocean and set its grip around a movie studio to make this happen? What biblical acts must the world conjure to get this space captain a new vessel? The clouds will swirl wildly, thunder and the commanding boom of a sky breaking at the spine and thrashing about, some enormous bearded face formed of grey angry clouds leaning into the windows of Columbia Pictures, all while stuttering executives unleash their bowels in terror. The behemoth cloud-face-thing leans in with a frown, lightning arcing everywhere, and with a mighty echoing voice, it commands that Nathan Fillion is to star in the Uncharted movie franchise. Right before they die, the executives sputter out one sentence, mouths full of blood and their words empty of resolve: “I think we can tap Mark Wahlberg for that project, he tests well for the demographic.” California is then eaten by the sea.
The man made that show, the one about a ship full of hookers and thieves and their merry adventures, canceled just before the dawn of 2003. I’ve seen the one season of it on DVD roughly a hundo-kabillion times, and every time I watch it, the show seems fresh, like it could sit right down to dinner and nobody’s going to question its funny clothes. I’m not going to waste my breath telling you about what was perhaps the greatest show to ever slacken the eyeballs of the ten or twelve people who watched it during its prime, no, but consider this your only warning—get thee to a retail video establishment and spend that baby formula money on the Firefly box set. Now! At once! You’ll have a good heaping handful of episodes to paw over, and then you’ll get started on a proper offering to the all-chiseled living man-god that is Nathan Fillion. Figs and hair product are a good start.
He’s got the funny, the handsome, and he knows his way around those places where actors play pretend—the “set,” or the “studio,” or the “dance, puppet, dance” area, or whatever it’s called, I don’t care. All I know is that Nathan Fillion can work the camera like it owes him rent money, and more than once he’s made me wonder what manner of repressed bi-curious confusion I’ve relieved by boot stomping that old garage door laying in my backyard. I get that his breakout show was canceled, I get it. I miss it, but I don’t pine away for its return by wrapping my social life around the culture, or by cursing in Mandarin and waving burning sage around my house. Conventions and the like are all well and good for those whom refuse to release their imaginations as they age, and I applaud this. However, in fifty years we’re just going to have a room full of walkers in brown leather coats falling asleep in a La Quinta Inn, two dozen “I Aim To Misbehave” tattoos all wrinkled up and illegible from the elastic ravages of time. Somewhere in the corner of the room, a loop of the Firefly theme music plays on the hotel’s borrowed television cart, right next to a plastic potted plant full of Diet Coke bottles. It’s going to go from sexy costumes and home made space guns, to diaper coupons and hour long arguments over whose diabetes is worse. I refuse to watch.
Fillion’s been in a few pages full of television programs and films, and most (aside from Waitress, Slither, and the Firefly film, Serenity) are gross insults to the talent the man wields with every macho word from his sturdy jaw. He’s a few seasons deep starring in his own television crime drama thingamajig called “Castle,” which is good, as I’m sure the money keeps the lights on, keeps his media profile current, and probably keeps the quartz chamber he sleeps in flush with virgin blood. I don’t watch the crime drama as I refuse to see Captain Malcolm Reynolds solve double-plot line mysteries and write fucking books. I’ve come to watch him bury Caesar, not flirt with whatever hot actress they’re likely prying from his calves after each take. And yeah, I saw the clip from Castle where he got all meta and dressed up as his former self, Mal Reynolds, and made the quip about being a “space cowboy” for Halloween. Just like high-school, Crystal Pepsi, and white denim—I’m going to pretend that didn’t happen.
There are acres and acres of Fillionions—fans of Firefly and every other thing he’s done—but I often wonder, “Where are the bejeweled benefactors?” I’d like to think if I’d acquired a lotto windfall, I’d peel off a few million and strap the man into some blockbuster vehicle for his career, like the Uncharted video game franchise that was damn near modeled after Fillion’s everything. He wants to star in the Uncharted action movie, thousands of fans want him in the Uncharted action movie, but for some reason we have to damn near wage civil conflict to get him near the project. Hell, it’s like the movie studio found a machine that can print money but instead of turning the crank, they’re too busy stuffing bananas into the slot and arguing over what color “being thirsty” feels like. Out of all of the fans of his work, isn’t one of us loaded to the gills with disposable cash? Isn’t there some grape-fed sultan watching subtitles and flying to the states once a year for Comic-Con? Throw a few million dollars toward getting this guy to the level of famous he deserves, save your next solid gold Lexus or gladiatorial tournament until next year, or however cartoons told me the whole sultan thing works. My point is that it’s time for Nathan Fillion to fill some major motion picture shoes, and it seems that the easiest way to do this is to find someone with enough money to buy the sun.
Joss Whedon’s only going to do us so many favors. As a director, he seems to crave the sadomasochistic relationships he forms with backers just waiting to strangle his latest creation and blame its corpse on the immigrant maid. He knows that Nathan Fillion is capable of great things, but it would do us all well for Whedon to pick up a phone, make some business cards, or bake cookies for his weekly Hollywood director’s guild networking brunch, and start dropping Fillion head-shots into everyone’s eggs benedict. It wouldn’t take much. When someone picks up the signed black and white photo and asks whose mug they’re wiping hollandaise from, Whedon can grab them by the collar, look them dead in the eyes, and reply, “Hire him. You will hire this man for your next major motion picture. You will hire him or the earth will rend, and locusts will be the least of your problems. You will hire him to prevent war, to prevent famine, and when the horsemen come, he will ride out with a bloody sabre to meet them, saving this rock from whatever tries to do it in. That, and he looks sharp in a tight pair of white space pants. Seriously. There’s bulge, but tasteful bulge. No, no—I’ll get the check.”