Want to see Firefly stars Nathan Fillion and Alan Tudyk not only back together on screen but back together on a spaceship? Then we recommend you get out your credit card and head over to the just-launched-today Indiegogo page for the pair’s planned web series, Con Man.
“It’s about the convention world,” says Tudyk, who is also the show’s creator, writer, and director. “My character, Wray Nerely, was on a science fiction show called Spectrum, that was canceled too soon, and now he goes to conventions, to sign head shots, and meet fans, and do panels. Nathan’s character, Jack Moore, who was the captain of the spaceship on Spectrum, has gone on to incredible action-hero stardom, like Matt Damon. My character is frustrated with his situation and frustrated by Jack’s stardom. We follow Wray’s story as he goes to the conventions and does video game voiceovers and we are going to populate it with sci-fi actors and people that you will find at conventions. Zany hi-jinks ensue!” (According to the project’s official press release, guest stars on the show will include the pair’s fellow Firefly-ers Sean Maher and Gina Torres as well as Amy Acker (Person of Interest), Seth Green, Felicia Day, and Guardians of the Galaxy filmmaker James Gunn, who directed Fillion in 2006’s still wildly underappreciated monster movie Slither.)
Fillion and Tudyk are hoping to raise $425,000 to finance the show’s first three 10 minute-long episodes. But Tudyk says that he has written 10 scripts in all so far and that at least one later show will indeed see both actors back on a spaceship. “There’s a lost episode of Spectrum that gets released within the show,” he says. “That’s done in a funny way—but there are actual scenes of me flying a spaceship and Nathan captaining.”
Below, Tudyk and Fillion talk more about Con Man, their very different video game-voicing experiences, and why the cast and crew of their new show should prepare themselves for an avocado-high diet.
EW: Obviously the two of you were both actually on a science fiction show, which its fans believe was canceled too early. How much of Con Man is autobiographical?
Alan Tudyk: Well, Nathan is Matt Damon famous. [Laughs] It’s not so much autobiographical, but it is pulled from a lot of experiences. I mentioned the voiceover for a video game—that one was pulled directly from an experience that we had doing Halo. I was like, “What did they have you say?” And Nathan was like, “Follow me!” “We got them on the run!”
Nathan Fillion: “Let’s go!” “Attack!” “Move forward!” “You can do this!” “Success!”
AT: And all of mine were, “Ow, that hurts!”
NF: “Run away!”
AT: “I fell on my keys!”
NF: “Wait for me!”
AT: And that was it. I even tried a hero voice and they were like, “No, no, a little higher! Shriller! Shriller!”
Nathan, what did you think when Alan approached you with this idea?
NF: Alan is a very clever idea. He comes up with ideas constantly. A lot of his ideas are kind of flash-in-the-pan type ideas. Alan, do you remember Doctor Cop Lawyer? [It was about] a guy who was a doctor, and a cop, and a lawyer. So he chases down the criminal, arrests the criminal, saves the criminal because he just shot the criminal, and then represents the criminal in a court of law. That was something Alan didn’t really pursue. But this one, he has been a bit of a dog with a bone with this. He’s been pursuing it, and making all the right moves, and he’s been very energetic and tireless in his pursuit. And then he wrote the script and he let me read it—and it is brilliant on a lot of levels. It pleases me in a lot of ways. As an audience member, this is exactly the kind of thing I want to see. I want to see a guy who gets kicked in the nuts all the time. I want to see a guy whose life just keeps handing him lemons. I love watching him suffer and Alan, this is one of his niches. He can do a lot of things but he can suffer very well.
I think what Alan’s doing is very clever. He’s not coming at everybody saying, “Fund this entirely huge, massive concept.” He’s saying, “Let’s do three. If you love it, let’s do more.” This project is about honoring the sci-fi projects of years gone by that have been forgotten, and the people that are fanatical about those projects. And it’s the kooky people you meet along the way.
AT: [But] the kooky people in Con Man are not the fans. [The fans] are the heroes of this. The kooky people are the people who work in the conventions. It’s the other side of conventions that fans don’t get to see. It’s the people that we’ve met along the way that are pulling the strings behind the curtain, in addition to kooky celebrities.
I’ve always wanted to involve the fans. The convention world is huge and getting bigger all the time. You mentioned Firefly. We’ve seen the fans do incredible things and this is something that the fans can get involved with at an early level and, having done conventions now for twelve years, some of the incentives are things that they want. This is going to be somewhat of an online convention in that, at conventions you get headshots signed, and there’s going to be that type of thing —because there is a show within-a-show: Spectrum.
Alan, in the press release for Con Man, it says that, in addition to writing, directing, and starring in the project, you will also be providing craft services. What can cast and crew expect from the Tudyk menu?
Is that it?
AT: That’s the one thing I’ve got, babe! That’s what comes out of my kitchen mostly. If there’s an avocado in the house, it soon gets turned into a mushy paste, with tomatoes, onions, cilantro—and some other secret spices.
I am legally obliged to ask about the future of Firefly. Do you have any news about possible further adventures?
NF: Not on this particular Indiegogo! [Laughs]
AT: No, this would be the quickest way to see us back on a spaceship. That’s the truth. It’s not going to be the Serenity. But it is a really cool spaceship!