Character: River Tam
Format: Film
Director: Joss Whedon
Writers: Joss Whedon
Genre: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Nationality: US
Release date: August 22,  2005 at the Edinburgh International Film Festival (UK) | September 30, 2005 (USA) at Universal City Cinemas, Los Angeles.
Other cast: Nathan Fillion, Morena Baccarin, Jewel Staite, Sean Maher, Gina Torres, Alan Tudyk, RonGlass, Adam Baldwin
Filming locations: Other cast Universal Studios
Production credits: Universal Pictures, Barry Mendel Productions



Serenity is based on Joss Whedon’s television show Firefly, in which interplanetary travel has brought about colonization of the planets, leading to a combination of sci-fi and Western tropes. The film picks up where the short-lived series left off, following the exploits of a crew of small-time criminals and outcasts who eke out a living on the edge of space, performing illegal smuggles and transports aboard a Firefly class cargo ship named Serenity. Led by a quick-witted veteran from the losing side of an interstellar war, Captain “Mal” Reynolds (Natahn Fillion), the crew is comprised of a rag-tag assortment of characters who, despite having their differences, are mostly loyal to one another, the closest thing that many of them have to a family. The stability of the crew is challenged, however, by the revelation that two of the passengers aboard, a brother (Sean Maher) and sister (Summer Glau), are fugitives, wanted by the Interplanetary Alliance with a hefty reward on their heads.



Summer Glau as River Tam in SerenitySummer Glau as River Tam in SerenitySummer Glau as River Tam in SerenitySummer Glau as River Tam in Serenity





  • Summer Glau did the stunts herself with her incredible flexibility and with her background as a dancer she was able to do a lot more complex scenes than that one could expect from an actress. Watch the video of her martial art training, taken from the Blu-ray extras.
  • In the R. Tam Sessions that was leaked to the Internet to promote the movie Serenity. Summer Glau reprises her role as River Tam while creator Joss Whedon plays the interviewer. See River Tam Sessions for the story behind the making.


  • Anza-Borrego Desert State Park - 200 Palm Canyon Drive, Borrego Springs, California, USA (Funeral scene at end of film)
  • Diamond Ranch High School, Pomona, California, USA (Miranda)
  • The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens - 1151 Oxford Rd, San Marino, California, USA (River in class)
  • Templin Highway, Angeles National Forest, California, USA (Reavers chase Mal after bank robbery)
  • Santa Clarita, California, USA
  • Warner Brothers Burbank Studios - 4000 Warner Boulevard, Burbank, California, USA (studio)
  • Backlot, Universal Studios - 100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City, California, USA
  • Angeles National Forest, California, USA (Templin Highway)