Malcolm "Mal" Reynolds is a fictional character in the Firefly franchise. Reynolds is played by actor Nathan Fillion in the 2002 TV series Firefly and the 2005 film Serenity. In the series, Reynolds is the captain of the Firefly-class spaceship Serenity. The character was named #18 in TV Guide ' s "Greatest Sci-fi legends" list in 2004.
Conceived by Joss Whedon, the character Malcolm Reynolds was the only definite character he had in mind when formulating the ensemble cast. He wanted a hero, but not a hero in the classic sense; someone that is "everything that a hero is not."
In the proposed pilot, Mal was much darker and considerably more closed-off. FOX network executives objected, and asked that Mal be "lightened up". For the second episode ("The Train Job"), Whedon created a more "jolly" Mal Reynolds.
The role was originally written for Buffy the Vampire Slayer co-star Nicholas Brendon; however, the shooting schedule conflicted with his commitment to Buffy.
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