From Allen Prunty@1:2320/100 to All on Sun Jun 19 20:45:02 2016
According to a report from TV Wise, Babylon 5 showrunner J. Michael Straczynski will shortly begin work on a rebooted big-screen version of his 1990s sci-fi TV series. Straczynski made the announcement at San Diego Comic-Con last week.
Babylon 5As pilot episode originally aired in 1993, with the series beginning its regular run almost a year later as a foundational component of the now- defunct Prime Time Entertainment Network. The show lacked the production budget of its contemporary rival Star Trek: Deep Space 9 (which allegedly lifted some or all of its core concepts directly from StraczynskiAs originaluand rejectedu Babylon 5 pitch meeting with Paramount). Still, it attracted enough of an audience to accomplish a noteworthy feat: Babylon 5 became the only non-Star Trek science fiction show on American television to reach its series completion without being cancelled. Not until 2004As Battlestar Galactica reboot would another non-Star Trek show earn the same distinction.
After Babylon 5 ended in 1998, Straczynski (usually referred to simply by his initials, "JMS") tried multiple times to bring a B5 movie to theaters. The most recent attempt in 2004 came the closest, with a completed script and some preproduction work underway, but without financial backing from Warner Bros. the project had to be abandoned.
In the intervening years, JMS has worked on other projects in a variety of media, including comics, television, and film; he shares a writing credit on the film adaptation of World War Z, though not much from his draft made it to the final Brad Pitt-produced film. The last time Babylon 5 appeared on a screen of any sort was as 2007As The Lost Tales, a direct-to-DVD project made up of two episode-length vignettes set in the Babylon 5 universe after the end of the main series.
According to JMSAs latest announcement, the new script will be targeted at a 2016 theatrical release and will be a reboot of the series rather than a continuation. This is necessary for both dramatic and practical purposesuthe series was in regular production from 1994-1998, and the cast has simply aged too far to credibly play themselves again during the seriesA main timeline. Additionally, several of the foundational cast membersuMichael OAHare, Andreas Katsulas, Richard Biggs, and Jeff Conawayuhave passed away.
However, JMS reportedly said he would attempt to use the original cast members in whatever ways he could, including potentially having series anchor Bruce Boxleitner play the president of the Earth Alliance (though as B5 fans know, exactly which president JMS is talking about would have a tremendous impact on BoxleitnerAs role).
The movie rights to the Babylon 5 property remain in JMSAs hands, but the creator is hopeful that this time around, Warner Bros. will choose to finance the film instead of passing on it. Nonetheless (at least according to TV Wise), JMS is prepared to fund the movie through his own production company if necessaryusomething that wasnAt a possibility ten years agousuggesting that B5 will in fact come to the big screen at last.