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  • Originally posted by Ubik View Post
    I may be in the minority here, but I'm more than ready for that fresh start. ...
    I definitely agree with your core point. There are some moments in the post-SIL material that make me smile, but it's mostly forgettable and underwhelming. I think I'd probably be happier if the show had just ended, and that was that.

    That said, it's just too difficult for me to imagine how a rebooted film can work in this universe. Anything's possible, but B5's greatness stems from slow builds, large character/story arcs, and big payoffs. It has a lot of other quality going for it, but that is its primary differentiation from everything else.

    Say what you will about the Star Trek reboot, but they accomplished this task successfully, and that gives me some small hope. But Star Trek was so much more episodic in design, with small stories and smart themes, so taking it to the films in the first place made it "bigger". And while I love Kirk, Spock, and McCoy, their character traits can be encapsulated in small scenes over the course of a film. Kirk needs to be less reckless, Spock needs to be more human, and McCoy needs to change nothing at all -- he's perfect. That's basically it, so rebooting the whole shebang in one film isn't that big a deal. But taking B5 to the film world makes it "smaller", both in terms of character and story. There's just no way to tell a story like Londo's or G'Kar's in a 2-hour film, unless the film is entirely about that character. Hell, there've been like 10 Avengers movies, and we barely know anything about them. Yes, I know that's big-budget action-movie writing, but the point stands that there's so little room in a film for what B5 did so well.

    I guess what I'm ultimately hoping for is something like the story of Babylon 4. Keep it in our universe, recast a character or two, and tell a good story. I don't think it's possible to truly "reboot" B5 and do it any kind of justice. I know it makes little marketing sense to make a Babylon 5 movie that's not about the Babylon 5 station, but its story can't be successfully retold in my opinion. I hope to be proven wrong, but I fear I'll look back on this in years and feel the same way I feel about Lost Tales, etc -- wishing they'd just left it alone.

    Comment


    • Good point about a Babylon 5 movie makes it smaller rather than larger as per the Trek analogy. I think that there may be another small part which makes up the reason why people are having a problem with just the idea of a reboot – and it ties in with what jms (and some fans) has said about Crusade possibly being a bit of a mistake. For years jms has said repeatedly that he wanted to tell the Babylon 5 story and when finished, he’d walk away a happy man.

      The conviction behind that was so strong that back in the day even the actors – and some of the crew - got a bit pissed off that he stopped the show when he did. Many fans fully backed the decision or at least viewed it as sign that he meant what he said. So at some unconscious level, even though we all hoped the stories might be continued in some form, we knew in our heart of hearts there was nothing more of substance to come…. Which in itself might explain why so many felt that LoTR and TLT and even Crusade had always felt a bit flat and not really fully recapturing the magic that had gone before…. Basically the Babylon 5 story had been told to everyone’s satisfaction, including jms’s.

      But now we’re in the situation where jms is not only wanting to do something else in the ‘verse. But he wants to do a reboot. So folks might be asking themselves what was wrong with the original, and why do it again if you said it was a one off and you were happy with it. It’s a bit of a u-turn on many years of what Joe had been saying, and what fans therefore believed to be the situation.

      As I’ve mentioned before I don’t actually have a problem with a reboot or anything else for that matter when it comes to B5. I just enjoyed the story and wasn’t around the web back then to either observe or participate in the excitement of watching in unfold and possibly interact with jms, so I’ve never really got invested in it the way that some others have. But I can certainly see some reason why folks might be scratching their heads on this wondering why a reboot is considered necessary – especially given all the things jms has said about it being a one off and how the spin-offs turned out.

      Comment


      • As Jan said to me a couple of days ago in a Sense8-thread: Not wanting to be argumentative, but... . Ah yes, and the first part is OT, I guess. Sorry 'bout that.

        I actually think that the "Star Trek"-reboot is not an encouraging, but rather a worrisome example of a reboot. Whatever you might think of the overall quality and entertainment level of the movie, it was about as far removed from its source as it could have been. There was no trekking, instead of a thought-out and thoughtful story and/or an adventure, we got an action spectacle that had more in common with "Star Wars" than "Star Trek". it catered to a completely different, more mainstream audience, and while I get that you can't make a 100 million $ movie for a small fanbase, it would probably kill me to see the B5-reboot taking a similar route.

        As for B5 and it's continuations. First, JMS original arc actually was a 10-year-arc, leading from "Babylon 5" straight to "Babylon Prime". So even back in the day, the continuation of "babylon 5" was very much on his mind. And while I completely get that the response to everything that came after the original B5 was mixed, I personally thought that "Crusade" had a lot of potential. And I just loved loved loved loved loved the idea of a "Lost Tales"-anthology series set within the B5-universe, mostly given it's wide range of possible stories; Londo's struggle as Emperor of Centauri Prime, the Telepath Crisis, Valen's adventures on B4 and the accompanying shadow war 1.000 years ago... seriously, the possibilities were endless. Thus, I totally admit that the fact that we never got any more Lost Tales left an extremely bitter taste in my mouth (as you said, it was supposed to be the beginning, not the end), which definitely plays a part in my reluctance concerning the reboot.

        If only they would give us just one more epic goodbye, preferably as a movie, I think it would be far easier for me to let old-B5 go, and open myself up to a reboot. But as it stands, as much as the five-year story was told in it's entirety, because of all the attempts to continue, it still feels unfinished to me, somehow. Then again, I definitely agree that a rebooted B5 is still better than no B5, so if that really is the only way for it to return, then so be it. You can be sure that I'll keep my fingers crossed that it will prove my misgivings unwarranted, and will blow me away.

        Comment


        • Originally posted by Jan View Post
          I always feel like such a wet blanket when I say this but...books, comics, web series, audio drama, sock puppet theater - those are all up to Warner Bros. I really hope that they'll come on board with the movie and that they'll want to do something really inventive but I'm afraid I don't have much hope of that.

          Jan
          Jan,

          Wet blanket, never!

          You simply understand and remind people of Joe's responsibilities and ethics as a professional writer.

          ... a horrible thought crossed my mind: sock puppet Sense8 (EEK!) ...


          Originally posted by Triple F View Post
          Well, here’s a thing to consider. If nothing else, jms can use the fair usage clause as much as anyone else. A free (and yes being free is a legal consideration in such things) story set in the B5 ‘verse covering events not covered in the show is essentially fan fiction…… and fan fiction is more than tolerated by WB….. hell, they sell it in kindle books on Amazon.

          A commercial venture is one thing, but a FREE cartoon strip, short animation, audio drama or e-book - the sort of thing produced all over the place, by all kinds of fans, for all kinds of shows from all kinds of studios (including WB) is something else. I just don’t see WB being a realistic obstacle to such a thing…… and that’s assuming they would put a stop on something official to begin with.
          Joe is an active member of the Screen Writers Guild and a strong advocate for that organization. As such, I cannot imagine Joe would intentionally violate the intellectual property of WB or anyone else.
          Last edited by Dan Dassow; 07-01-2015, 03:24 PM. Reason: post munched

          Comment


          • Does anyone know if Joe gave any sort of update on the B5 movie during his spotlight at SDCC yesterday?

            The interwebs has failed me in all of my attempts to find out

            Comment


            • It's exactly the same except that he said he expects to be writing the script later this year.

              More when I find my recorder. Meanwhile, here's a pretty good synopsis:

              http://www.comicbookresources.com/ar...-on-television

              ...including the reason why JMS was late to a con event for only the second time ever (that I know of).

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

              Comment


              • Nice to see JMS fighting crime again!

                Originally posted by CBR
                Echoing an incident from the Chicago Comic-Con in 1995 when Straczynski tackled a thief who tried to steal artwork from a dealer's table, he said that he had just tripped a man who stole a woman's purse in San Diego's Seaport Village and was running past him.
                I do hope he finds time to dedicate to the B5 film amidst all the projects he's taking on.
                Captain John Sheridan: I really *hate* it when you do that.

                Kosh: Good!

                Comment


                • JMS: "I'm writerman" in a suitably gravelly voice.
                  "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. "

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by sarthaz View Post
                    I definitely agree with your core point. There are some moments in the post-SIL material that make me smile, but it's mostly forgettable and underwhelming. I think I'd probably be happier if the show had just ended, and that was that.

                    That said, it's just too difficult for me to imagine how a rebooted film can work in this universe. Anything's possible, but B5's greatness stems from slow builds, large character/story arcs, and big payoffs. It has a lot of other quality going for it, but that is its primary differentiation from everything else.

                    Say what you will about the Star Trek reboot, but they accomplished this task successfully, and that gives me some small hope. But Star Trek was so much more episodic in design, with small stories and smart themes, so taking it to the films in the first place made it "bigger". And while I love Kirk, Spock, and McCoy, their character traits can be encapsulated in small scenes over the course of a film. Kirk needs to be less reckless, Spock needs to be more human, and McCoy needs to change nothing at all -- he's perfect. That's basically it, so rebooting the whole shebang in one film isn't that big a deal. But taking B5 to the film world makes it "smaller", both in terms of character and story. There's just no way to tell a story like Londo's or G'Kar's in a 2-hour film, unless the film is entirely about that character. Hell, there've been like 10 Avengers movies, and we barely know anything about them. Yes, I know that's big-budget action-movie writing, but the point stands that there's so little room in a film for what B5 did so well.

                    I guess what I'm ultimately hoping for is something like the story of Babylon 4. Keep it in our universe, recast a character or two, and tell a good story. I don't think it's possible to truly "reboot" B5 and do it any kind of justice. I know it makes little marketing sense to make a Babylon 5 movie that's not about the Babylon 5 station, but its story can't be successfully retold in my opinion. I hope to be proven wrong, but I fear I'll look back on this in years and feel the same way I feel about Lost Tales, etc -- wishing they'd just left it alone.
                    Really for me the Telepath/Bester situation was the main thing I wanted to see more of, maybe a bit of Lennier.

                    I'd also agree about Trek, in some ways it was easier to take because we'd had such large amounts of fan focused Trek in the 90's and early 00's that a lot of people were just burnt out on it(especially as the latter TNG films weren't great) and welcomed a change but it wasn't really the Trek we knew rather some of the characters stuck into a Hollywood action film.

                    Luckly I'm not sure you could do the same thing with B5 though, yes it had some great characters but none of them have anything close to the public awareness of Kirk/Spock/Bones.

                    I'd agree with your point about building characters and plots as well, B5 as we know it couldn't even he handled in a trilogy of 3 hour films effectively. As you suggest I think the obvious way to go about it would be to cut out a section of the story and focus on it. One thing JMS could maybe attempt is back to back filming for more than one release, that does save a good deal of money and would make a sequal more likely.
                    Who are you?
                    What do you want?
                    What is the average inflight speed of an unladened swallow?

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by moreorless View Post
                      One thing JMS could maybe attempt is back to back filming for more than one release, that does save a good deal of money and would make a sequal more likely.
                      I think finding backers for that would be really, really hard. I'm still unsure how easy it's going to be to finance a proper feature film of a series that has such a low profile amongst the general public. I suppose the reboot option kinda makes that a moot point, but it's still a hard sell. Sadly, any 'original' feature is a hard sell in Hollywood these days.

                      I honestly think there's more power in the Kickstarter / independent production route. Or a combo of both, a la the Veronica Mars film.
                      Captain John Sheridan: I really *hate* it when you do that.

                      Kosh: Good!

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by Ubik View Post
                        I honestly think there's more power in the Kickstarter / independent production route. Or a combo of both, a la the Veronica Mars film.
                        No disrespect intended but I have NO interest whatsoever in seeing a movie for the amount that could be raised via Kickstarter. None. JMS was right several years ago, if it's not going to be done right, it shouldn't be done.

                        Con Man's raised 3.1 million. Veronica Mars about 5 million. Not nearly enough for a show that has to be built from scratch, which neither of those did.

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

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by Jan View Post
                          No disrespect intended but I have NO interest whatsoever in seeing a movie for the amount that could be raised via Kickstarter. None. JMS was right several years ago, if it's not going to be done right, it shouldn't be done.

                          Con Man's raised 3.1 million. Veronica Mars about 5 million. Not nearly enough for a show that has to be built from scratch, which neither of those did.

                          Jan
                          Fair point Jan. I think we all remember Lost Tales, and I have no desire to see 'B5 on a shoe string budget' either.

                          I am just a little sceptical that any studio will want to invest the kind of money that would be required. B5 is just really quite obscure these days. Unless a major studio bites, it's going to be very hard to fund to a sufficient level.

                          Maybe if Netflix were to begin funding feature films, now that would be exciting. Who knows!? Seems Joe is building a good relationship with them via Sense8. I wish WB would do the honourable thing and sell him the rights back.

                          Then we could get a proper reboot, on TV, where B5 belongs.
                          Last edited by Ubik; 07-17-2015, 04:04 PM.
                          Captain John Sheridan: I really *hate* it when you do that.

                          Kosh: Good!

                          Comment


                          • My feeling is that the biggest obstacle could be WB. If they don't sign on I think others might stay away because of what they control. I assume they control all Home Video and Merchandise rights as well the TV. Am I wrong?

                            Other than that I think JMS' rep combined with a really good script could get the job done. There are big name people out there who remember the show. You know people like Whedon, Abrams, and others could easily end up getting behind the project even if it is just something they say they would like to see. Plus the show was so big in other markets that you know he can likely find some funding there. And he can likely find some funding for the promise of overseas' box office receipts. I think it might take a little longer to get done than we all would like (which is evidenced by the fact we already wonder if he is even going to get it written this year), but I think it will happen. We just need to figure out a way to get him to forget these other projects for a little while and focus for several months to get the best of the best reboot script.
                            Susan Ivanova, "I'll be in the car."

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                            • I would agree with that, the existing fanbase isn't enough to get a big film made but it does provide a bit of a glass floor which is often what Hollywood is interested in preventing the possibility of a really massive bomb, a lot of films get made of properties that aren't massively well known as a result. JMS's game and potentially the script could well be what desides whether the film gets made.

                              In terms of budget I'm not sure 100 million is really essential, B5 can't be done well on a shoe string but still I think the format isn't one that really pushes the budget. The need for locations shooting is limited, hundreds of extras aren't needed, sets don't need to be that massive and as the original showed CGI in space is actually often simpler/cheaper than other kinds that needs to recreated more complex characters and environments. My guess is that JMS could make something that looks up to current blockbuster standards on a $60 millionish budget.

                              In terms of the draw of FX he might even benefit a bit from the fact we really haven't seen much in the way of space battles(Enders Game is all that comes to mind) in recent years so wouldn't need to really over overboard to outdo anything else.
                              Last edited by moreorless; 07-27-2015, 04:07 AM.
                              Who are you?
                              What do you want?
                              What is the average inflight speed of an unladened swallow?

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by moreorless View Post
                                In terms of the draw of FX he might even benefit a bit from the fact we really haven't seen much in the way of space battles(Enders Game is all that comes to mind) in recent years so wouldn't need to really over overboard to outdo anything else.
                                This is quite likely going to change come December, when a certain Force Awakens

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