Universal has been trying to get “Serenity 2” off the ground since it was announced that Joss Whedon is behind the new Avengers film. Well, it looks like they decided not to wait for him, and hired Michael Bay instead. More after the break.

March 31, 2011

BURBANK, CA – Universal Studios is proud to announce that Michael Bay (Transformers) is attached to direct the sequel to 2005’s Serenity.

“We are pleased to return to the world of Serenity,” says Universal Pictures CEO James Schamus. “The original movie has a strong following, and we will do everything we can to bring in as much of the original talent involved as possible. We are excited by the action expertise that Mr. Bay brings to the table. Fans can expect a lot less conversation this time around.”

The original film was written and directed by series creator Joss Whedon, currently helming superhero flick The Avengers. “I’ve been wanting to return to the ‘verse for years,” commented Whedon. “I must have angered the gods of timing at some point, with two of my favorite creations coming back to the big screen while I’m busy with Avengers. I wish Mr. Bay and the cast the best of luck.” Whedon offered no comment about a possible role as a creative consultant.

Universal is actively seeking a screenwriter for a fast track, with hopes of filming this summer while the network television series take a break from filming.

“We love the work of our original ensemble cast. However, if we are unable to come up with a script in time for a summer shooting schedule, some of the roles may be recast,” confirms Universal Studios Inc. President and COO Ron Meyer. Meyer refers to the fact that four original stars now have roles on regular series. While two of these series (V, Morena Baccarin; The Cape, Summer Glau) are unlikely to be renewed for the fall 2011 schedule, and a third (Chuck, Adam Baldwin) is on the bubble, it is extremely unlikely that series lead Nathan Fillion will be able to take enough time off his Castle shooting schedule to join the cast. It is already rumoured that Universal is actively seeking a replacement for the role of Malcolm Reynolds.

“I would give my left arm to return to Firefly,” says Fillion. “Sadly, a contract is a contract. I’d want to be there opening night to support my friends, but it may just be too painful to see more Firefly and not be a part of it. Hold me.”