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Lobbying for another B5 Universe project

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  • Lobbying for another B5 Universe project

    I'm sure that this topic has been brought up before, so if it has, my appologies.

    The reality of business is that one is going to create a product or service in order to satisy or fullfill a need in order to make money. When Warner Bros decided to fund the production of the Lost Tales, the sales of those DVD's proved that there was a need that needed to be satisfied and they made money.

    We all know that we came close to having another B5 project when JMS revealed that there was going to be a potential reboot of the series. This was because someone had brought it up to Warner Bros and it wasn't JMS.

    I firmly believe that there could be a successful lobbying effort started by the fans (initially by those on this site) in convincing Warner Bros and what ever network to kickstart another B5 project. Afterall it was a huge letter writing campaign that got the first Space Shuttle named Enterprise.

    Whatever your political values are, the reality is that it was the power of social media and other forms of lobbying that helped get President Obama elected.

    Therefore, I'm open to ideas and willing to participate in those ideas if we all agree to launch some kind of campaign to get a B5 Project started and successfully completed, whether it be another series or motion picture. As long as Warner Bros. believes that there is no want or need for such a project, they will not entertain the possibility of fullfilling that need in the market place. Therefore, they have to be convinced that the need and/or want is there for them to fill it.

    Note: This passion was sparked while listening to "Variations on a Theme" on CD in my van today.
    http://archive.firstones.com/musicofb5/music_misc.html

  • #2
    Cross media lobbying, even small scale has the best potential to sway opinion, but it would have to be sustained. Something as simple as B5 fans carrying a tea towel saying Make a B5 Movie Ya Bastards printed on it (or words to that effect ; ), and waving it in front of any TV cameras they find, will most likely eventually get picked up by news programs, or at least spark debate by a wider audience on-line and a momentum could gather.

    But I have doubts it would work personally. Not to say it’s not worth trying, and there’s certainly an appetite out there for a quality product. But Warner Bros. still makes money from B5 by doing nothing. As mentioned on another thread the show is still running in plenty of places outside the States. DVD sales are still on-going, and unfortunately TV studios are a bit like investors. Sure the bucks going into a movie could make a return, but if it can make a bigger return being spent on a couple of game shows and a program about the mating habits of reality TV stars, then that’s most likely were they’ll invest.

    A sustained effort would be the key to any potential success.
    Last edited by Triple F; 12-21-2011, 07:50 PM.

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    • #3
      About the only way to entice the tightwads at Warner Brothers would be if we financed the project entirely ourselves and told them that they could keep 100 percent of the profits in addition to their licensing fees. Even then, they'd say that there were no profits.
      Last edited by KoshN; 12-21-2011, 10:58 PM.
      Mac Breck (KoshN)
      ------------------
      Warner Brothers is Lucy.
      JMS and we fans are collectively Charlie Brown.
      Babylon 5 is the football.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by KoshN View Post
        About the only way to entice the tightwads at Warner Brothers would be if we financed the project entirely ourselves and told them that they could keep 100 percent of the profits in addition to their licensing fees. Even then, they'd say that there were no profits.
        And they will not risk their embarrassment if the show's successful should someone else produce it.
        Ironic , this gem shown bright due to no studio meddling - now B5 languishes, jealously guarded by WB like Gollum guarded his ring.
        Last edited by DaveNarn; 12-29-2011, 10:59 PM.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by KoshN View Post
          About the only way to entice the tightwads at Warner Brothers would be if we financed the project entirely ourselves and told them that they could keep 100 percent of the profits in addition to their licensing fees. Even then, they'd say that there were no profits.
          Yeah, this and what DaveNarn said. They own a property and have really squandered it over the years. And it's a real bummer. It's also why I pretty much don't pay attention to any "new B5" rumors out there. I think JMS really tries, but he's also at a point in his career where he wants it done RIGHT and not on an indie budget. I think that is an impasse too much for the suits at WB to do anything about.

          I think doing a social media campaign like this would work better for something like Firefly, where it seems like the studios are at least up for making comics, books, whatever for the property.
          Flying Sparks Web Comic - A Hero and Villain In Love. Updates on Wednesdays
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          • #6
            Well Truth66 you have my support for anything that helps bring back B5 from the blackhole it is in right now..... : ( currently watching the Lost Tales for the 1st time, having been unable to get into the Crusade series, and it just reminded me how AWESOME this show was/is....

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            • #7
              I only want to see additions to the abbreviated fictional library. There are much less popular franchises with way too many books. Get it going.
              Recently, there was a reckoning. It occurred on November 4, 2014 across the United States. Voters, recognizing the failures of the current leadership and fearing their unchecked abuses of power, elected another party as the new majority. This is a first step toward preventing more damage and undoing some of the damage already done. Hopefully, this is as much as will be required.

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              • #8
                In some of his recent online writing regarding the Watchmen prequels, JMS mentioned that WB and he were very close to starting up a major new B5 project with a solid budget, but the distribution plan failed at the last minute. So, as recently as late last year JMS was close to getting new B5 made. I'm certainly not holding my breath, but it is good to hear that JMS is still working toward getting a new B5 project off the ground.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Dr Maturin View Post
                  I only want to see additions to the abbreviated fictional library. There are much less popular franchises with way too many books. Get it going.
                  That would work (novels) but Warner Brothers would have to go to a publisher and pay for it themselves, and they won't. They'd rather wait forever for somebody to come to them (Warner Brothers) to pay a licensing fee and pay to have novels written and published.
                  Mac Breck (KoshN)
                  ------------------
                  Warner Brothers is Lucy.
                  JMS and we fans are collectively Charlie Brown.
                  Babylon 5 is the football.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by KoshN View Post
                    That would work (novels) but Warner Brothers would have to go to a publisher and pay for it themselves, and they won't. They'd rather wait forever for somebody to come to them (Warner Brothers) to pay a licensing fee and pay to have novels written and published.
                    And seems unlikely when (IIRC) Del Rey opted not to take up a further licence because the sales of the trilogies weren't what they were looking for in order to commit to further books in the B5 universe.

                    Given we are now 10 years on from those books and 13 years on from the show ending on TV, I doubt anyone would consider it was a commercially better bet now than it was then.

                    What we really need is for WB to allow JMS to release original books through the B5Books Cafepress store, but the chances of that happening are lower than my suddenly being appointed head of WB.
                    Last edited by Garibaldi's Hair; 02-08-2012, 06:03 AM.
                    The Optimist: The glass is half full
                    The Pessimist: The glass is half empty
                    The Engineer: The glass is twice as big as it needs to be

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                    • #11
                      I have doubts about that happening either.

                      Estimates midway through the release of the script books had projected sales for the complete series at around $1.5 million for the cafÚ press publications. That averages out at something like $107,000 per volume. Take average sale price of $35 (half at discount half not), that puts the sale of each volume at a touch over 3,000 copies. Rough as hell with a lot of guess work, but it hints that any sales of B5 books are probably unlikely to hit 10,000 copies.

                      Considering the work involved in creating one, and the workload he already has (never mind the payday he gets on a movie script) I canÆt imagine jms producing new books himself û not unless he gets a major hankering for telling a B5 related story that way.

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                      • #12
                        I've often thought that the best (and possibly cheapest) way to get new B5 stories is in the form of comic books. The industry is very different to what it was back when the old B5 comics were made as western publishers have now come to grips with the idea that people will actually buy comics that don't involve superheros. There even appears to be a whole sub-genre for books based on nostalgic TV shows, cartoons and even video game tie ins.

                        Hell, they're even making fairly successful movies and TV shows *based* on comic books that don't have any spandex of capes at all (though they may have zombies, vampires and Tom Hanks as a Mafia hitman. )

                        Of course this would still require a company like IDW or Dark Horse who seem to specialize in this sort of thing to actively seek out acquiring the licence from WB *and* of course have a story worth telling (ideally with JMS's blessing, if not his direct input.)

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                        • #13
                          I don't know how accurate this is or not but back in the day of the Mongoose debacle, I had a pretty lengthy email exchange with Matthew Sprange. He told me at the time that his company had planned to do comics as well as the novel line but that (I believe it was) DC had claimed that they had the better claim to do comics. I don't know if they still were expecting JMS' long-looked-for 100-page graphic novel or any other details or what.

                          The last couple of times JMS has been asked about B5 comics at conventions, all he's said is that nothing's planned.

                          Jan
                          "As empathy spreads, civilization spreads. As empathy contracts, civilization contracts...as we're seeing now.

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                          • #14
                            I suppose it would depend on the particulars of whatever contract DC & WB signed back in the day. It could be as simple as WB having to give them first refusal, or any competing label having to effectively buy them out of the licence. The most likely scenario though was that at the time (this was about 5 years back, no?) DC's licence hadn't run out yet. I mean I assume there's a time limit on these things. I'd be surprised if WB out-and-out sold the comic book publishing rights to DC.

                            Either way, judging the quality of work Mongoose was putting out (what little I've seen of it) I can't say I'm sorry that guy didn't get his way.

                            At the end of the day, if JMS had a story he *really* wanted to tell in comic book form, I'm sure all he needs to do is pick up the phone to DC.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Reverend View Post
                              At the end of the day, if JMS had a story he *really* wanted to tell in comic book form, I'm sure all he needs to do is pick up the phone to DC.
                              Heck, Dan DiDio is moderating his spotlight in a few weeks at WonderCon!

                              Jan
                              "As empathy spreads, civilization spreads. As empathy contracts, civilization contracts...as we're seeing now.

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