Joss Whedon's Serenity (2005) is at once a symbol of failure and a triumphant success of fan activism. The cult television icon's feature directorial debut functions as an extension of his canceled Fox series Firefly. Mourning their loss, fans of the show fought for more, making Serenity not just a cult film but a monument to cultdom. A minor box-office success upon first release, Serenity continues to be a sci-fi favorite, attracting fans, cosplayers, fan fiction authors, and more to conventions and charity screenings internationally.
This book examines the relationship between the film and its peculiar cult following, largely established before a cult object even existed, and situates the film in relation to the series and its other transmedia continuations to plumb the status of different media texts and their platforms. Additionally, it explores those cult features of Serenity—a playful engagement with genre, with high and low culture, with gender roles—that predisposed it to such a fierce following, one that would follow Whedon into future series and blockbuster projects such as The Avengers.