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Babylon 5 Movie through Studio JMS

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  • Saw that, Dan. Either it's my work or they have the same punctuation and questions I have. ;-) Doesn't bother me at all. When I posted it on FB and other places I said to feel free to copy and share.

    What does bother me is that there's a WHOLE FREAKING PARAGRAPH MISSING from my transcript above. Probably the glitch, because it took me a few tries to get it posted. Here's the whole thing:

    JMS recaps what’s coming up and then:

    So we’ve been having a really, really good year at Studio JMS. And where that comes in handy – where it’s kind of important involves this (B5 logo comes on screen).

    So… Fact: When I made the Babylon 5 deal with Warner Bros. it was just short of indentured servitude. Financially, I’ll never seen a dime out of Babylon 5 ever. I have no problems with that; I knew what I was signing when I go into it, but I mention it to piss them off every once in a while. One thing that I was able to withhold was the film rights. I still own the movie rights to Babylon 5. I’ve been pushing Warner’s for the last…ever since the early cretaceous period…to “Let’s do a Babylon 5 movie – a proper big budget feature film.” And they’ve always dragged their feet [because] that’s what Warner Bros. does. They knew that they had the upper hand because I couldn’t take it to any other studio because these days all the studios want all the rights. So if I brought it to say, Sony or Fox, they’d want the TV rights which Warner Bros. controls. Warner Bros. will never give those rights up so we were always handcuffed by that.

    Turns out, however, there’s one studio in Los Angeles…Distributors, by the way, don’t care about the TV rights. Distributors just [care] about the movie, they don’t care about the TV part. There’s one studio in town that doesn’t care if it doesn’t have the TV rights…that wants to see this movie made and will do it with or without Warner Bros. (Studio JMS logo comes on screen).
    Here’s the plan: We’re going to have, through Studio JMS, at least two, maybe three TV series on the air next year. We’re going to have at least one or two movies going ahead. And we’ll use that to parlay serious investment in the studio. I’m not talking Kickstarter, I’m talking about one hundred million dollars, two hundred million dollars; we already have people who are lined up and interested in doing that.

    So in 2015 I will write a Babylon 5 screenplay. I’ll be giving Warner Bros. the opportunity – if they want to step up, “Help yourself”. If they don’t, 2016: We make it. I’m not going to wait around for more of our cast members to die. So that’s the long term plan and those are the current updates on everything that’s going on right now.

    Question from a fan: Asked if JMS might crowd-fund for a million of the investment so that fans can be part of it.

    JMS: I would rather now. Here’s the reason why, though. I come from the ranks of fandom – I’m as rank as any of you. To me, much as I understand that Kickstarter and crowd-sourcing are a way for those outside to get involved with the process, show their appreciation for the process, I am resistant to that lure because it feels to me like taking advantage of the fans and I have a hard time with that on a moral and ethical basis. I’d rather have an investor come up and say “Here’s a check for a hundred million dollars” - which I would gladly take, by the way; if anyone in the audience happens to have one of those lying around, let me know – than to come to the fans and try to get it. Science fiction fans, and horror fans, to a degree, are the most exploited folks out there. “Line up, buy the merchandise, watch the show.” And I just see this money suck happening. So the answer is no.

    Question from a fan: Are you considering a reboot to bring in new viewers or are you thinking of a continuation with the cast and crew from the original series.

    JMS: It would have to be a reboot because it’s now been twenty-plus years since we started that show and some of the age ranges wouldn’t always work with some of the characters. So we’d have to move a few people around. But what I want to do is use the original cast one way or the other and move a few things around. I’d love to see Bruce as President of the Earth Alliance; that would be the perfect role for him.
    I love playing around with the cast anyway. The one story that I wanted to do for the original B5 and they wouldn’t let me do it was, when Londo was injured and had this dream sequence, I wanted to have different actors play different roles. So Jerry Doyle would play Londo. Claudia Christian would play Delenn and Delenn (Mira) would play Ivanova. Peter Jurasik would play Jerry Doyle’s role. Andreas Katsulas would be the Commander of the Station and Bruce would be G’Kar. They said, “People would be way too confused.” JMS: “They won’t be confused, trust me! Listen, they have the intelligence for this.” It was the only story that they said “No, no, no, no and by the way, no.” The chance to [ ] play around with the cast and have some fun with it could be a good thing.
    Missing part bolded. Kind of a crucial part, too. Sheesh...

    Jan
    Last edited by Jan; 08-09-2014, 03:52 PM.
    "As empathy spreads, civilization spreads. As empathy contracts, civilization contracts...as we're seeing now.

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    • Just came across this. Not sure if it was posted yet.

      http://www.giantfreakinrobot.com/sci...film-2016.html
      sigpic

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      • So I almost did not read beyond the first sentence. "ever since the show was cancelled..."

        Babylon 5 was not cancelled, it had the 5 year run and came to and end, eez, if they cannot do basic research, why bother.

        Returning to TV sets? JMS owning th rights to B5 ot warner bros? This article is as the young people say "full of fail", sigh.
        Phaze
        on the "I seem t be growing less tolerant, I quit reading an article purporting to be sceintific when they kept using non metric measurements" ID
        Last edited by phazedout; 08-10-2014, 12:52 AM.
        "There are no good wars. War is always the worst possible way to resolve differences. It degenerates and corrupts both sides to ever more sordid levels of existence, in their need to gain an advantage over the enemy. Those actively involved in combat are almost always damaged goods for the rest of their lives. If their bodies don't bear scars, their minds do, ofttimes both. Many have said it before, but it can't be said to enough, war is hell. "

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        • Found it! I've been looking for a particular post of JMS' from back when the failed reboot series was still being talked about back in 2011. Alas, I didn't link directly to JMS' Facebook reply but here's where I copied it and here are some points he made that may or may not still be relevant for the upcoming movie.

          Originally posted by JMS
          Take G'Kar, for instance. In my notes, there is no new character named G'Kar because for my money, no one else can ever BE G'Kar, so G'Kar is a religious figure, a legend, not unlike G'Quon.
          Originally posted by JMS
          Despite what some folks say, the fact is that saying "reboot" is like saying "science fiction," it means what you're pointing at, and there are all kinds of permutations of what that means. It (and remember we're talking about something that is not currently on the boards) can't be a straight-ahead sequel because the market can't sustain it when the show hasn't been on the air in the US in over a decade. That's never, ever going to fly. It can't be called Babylon 5 if there isn't a place called Babylon 5, so the station has to be in existence, otherwise you can't use that name. You could do a show about the telepath war, but you couldn't call it Babylon 5 unless there's a Babylon 5 there, otherwise it'll confuse the hell out of new audiences (oh, that's named for a station that used to be there in another series you never saw).

          The challenge I set for myself in this is very simple: knowing what I know now, having grown a lot as a writer since 1992 (or for that matter the late 80s when I started writing the pilot), having the experience of the original show in what worked and what didn't, and with all the technology available to us now that wasn't there in 1992, if I were to put the show together right now, what would it look like? That, for my money, is what a reboot is
          Wish I could find the original post but it was in response to somebody and it seems impossible to scroll back through those for very far.

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

          Comment


          • By way of arstechnica, /. now has the story.

            http://entertainment.slashdot.org/st...g-screen-debut

            Ars Technica reports that "J. Michael Straczynski will shortly begin work on a rebooted big-screen version of his 1990s sci-fi TV series [ Babylon 5]." From the article: According to JMS's 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 purposes—the series was in regular production from 1994-1998, and the cast has simply aged too far to credibly play themselves again during the series’ main timeline. Additionally, several of the foundational cast members — Michael O'Hare, Andreas Katsulas, Richard Biggs, and Jeff Conaway — have passed away. ... The movie rights to the Babylon 5 property remain in JMS's 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 necessary — something that wasn't a possibility ten years ago — suggesting that B5 will in fact come to the big screen at last.
            Last edited by Babel-17; 08-10-2014, 08:32 AM.

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            • It's like watching a game of 'telephone' seeing all the inaccuracies creep in.

              ...the new script will be targeted at a 2016 theatrical release
              Where'd that come from? What was said was that it would be *made* in 2016, not released. Post-production takes a long time these days.

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

              Comment


              • Yeah, but thankfully people on sites like that are hardened to getting misleading articles.

                On gaming websites, "when it's done" has become a standard response from game developers when asked to respond to stories about the imminence of a game's completion. With hardware like videocards, "Release" now comes in two flavors, soft and hard. "Soft" is when a company announces the release, and maybe lets a reviewer see it, and "hard" is when people can buy it and use it.

                http://arstechnica.com/author/lee-hutchinson/ That's the author. I think that site is used to editing their articles, if you want to contact him.

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                • Forgive me if this has been brought up/discussed already...

                  If the new rebooted film is financially successful (And for the record, I understand why this movie has to be a reboot, and I am very excited for it), does anyone think JMS will ever play in the original continuity again?

                  I would really like to see some of the stories JMS had planned, but never told, come to fruition. For example, I'd love to see the story of the telepath war told in detail, whether it be in novel form, comics, or live action.

                  But I wonder, would JMS still care to tell those stories if he's producing movies in the new B5 continuity? Does the new continuity mean the death of the old continuity in JMS's mind, or can they co-exist? Will he want to tell stories in both? I for one hope he does. Even if it means only getting old B5 stories in the way of novels or comics.

                  I know this is looking ahead quite far, and it's assuming the best case scenario that the movie happens, is financially successful, and WB actually gets off their encounter suited butts and does something with it, but this kind of speculation is what this forum is for, right?
                  Last edited by JesseW; 08-10-2014, 03:35 PM.

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                  • No telling if JMS would ever return to the original continuity. I guess it would depend on whether there was a particular story he wanted to tell?

                    When it comes to books or comics, of course, WB still owns all of those rights. So a company would have to approach WB to make that deal and then make a deal with JMS for whatever they might be interested in. So I think the movie would need to be *very* successful in order for us to see anything like that. Probably 'Pirates of the Caribbean' type successful.

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

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by JesseW View Post
                      Does the new continuity mean the death of the old continuity in JMS's mind, or can they co-exist?
                      Man, I hope it's not the death of the original, and that they can co-exist, or even merge somehow.

                      It's hard to talk about this subject without mentioning potential stories, and we can't talk about potential stories because of the legal nightmare that poor ol' Joe faced once before... but there were definitely things he mentioned having ideas for previously that we never got to see, (and I'm still hopefully we might yet see them!).

                      Things that I'm sure he mentioned included the Telepath War and the tragic death of Lennier, the stuff to do with David Sheridan's 16th Birthday, the meeting of the spaceships Liandra and Excalibur, (okay! So I'm the only person who liked LOTR! So what?!), and of course Londo's Lost Tales instalment.

                      Also, without mentioning any story ideas, I'd like to state my fondness for the colour green, whilst also asking "is the 'text speak' for something that happened before, simply 'B4' perchance?" Just a harmless question, no legal headache intended....

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                      • I think it's unlikely JMS would go back to the old continuity - don't think of it as abandoned, merely as finished. That story is done. The new setting would give JMS an opportunity to explore those unused story ideas in new ways. (That might be part of the appeal, in fact.)
                        Jonas Kyratzes | Lands of Dream

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by Jonas View Post
                          I think it's unlikely JMS would go back to the old continuity - don't think of it as abandoned, merely as finished. That story is done. The new setting would give JMS an opportunity to explore those unused story ideas in new ways. (That might be part of the appeal, in fact.)
                          I tend to agree. A clean slate would be best for all concerned.
                          Captain John Sheridan: I really *hate* it when you do that.

                          Kosh: Good!

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by JesseW
                            But I wonder, would JMS still care to tell those stories if he's producing movies in the new B5 continuity? Does the new continuity mean the death of the old continuity in JMS's mind, or can they co-exist? Will he want to tell stories in both? I for one hope he does. Even if it means only getting old B5 stories in the way of novels or comics.

                            I don't know how this could mean anything but that the universe is "finished"

                            I don't want it to be finished, and this will certainly finish it. Before this it was hopeless, but I still hoped for more.

                            ie. it was only as dead as Marcus, now it's as dead as Refa.

                            Jan said a couple of pages back to one my posts, "Then it wouldn't Babylon 5", well that's my point it won't be Babylon 5 it will be something new with it's name.
                            Last edited by Marsden; 08-11-2014, 07:35 AM.
                            "And what kind of head of Security would I be if I let people like me know things that I'm not supposed to know? I mean, I know what I know because I have to know it. And if I don't have to know it, I don't tell me, and I don't let anyone else tell me either. " And I can give you reasonable assurances that the head of Security will not report you for doing so."
                            "Because you won't tell yourself about it?"

                            "I try never to get involved in my own life, too much trouble."

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                            • This is kind of leaning into "if he doesn't do the exact same scripts it's not really B5" territory. Why bother if that's the case? It's Joe's show, Joe doing anything is Babylon 5 because it all came from his head in the first place.

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                              • From what Jan posted about his previous discussion of a reboot I am not so sure it sounds like he is going for a clean slate on the arc. It sounds like he is starting over, but what she quoted doesn't sound like he is completely throwing out everything. He might just be starting over and telling the same story in a new way.

                                Either way, as I've said before, if this project is financially successful the sky is the limit. If it abandons the old arc then there is every possibility the old arc could find new life in other in other ways. If UNTITLED BABYLON 5 MOVIE, or U.B5.M. as I like to call it , makes enough money JMS might be able to convince WB to release some things that tell more of the old arc. That is if JMS is interested in doing projects in the old arc in comic or book or audio drama or straight to digital formats.
                                Susan Ivanova, "I'll be in the car."

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