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  • The year is 2015. And you know what that means...

    Ok so, 2015 is finally here, and the last I heard JMS is going to sit down and write a B5 movie script this year!

    I know that the Great Maker has many other things on his plate, including the Netflix series Sense8, which I’m fabulously excited about by the way, but I can’t help but to get excited that at some point THIS YEAR, JMS is going to sit down at his NEW desk, and visit an entirely NEW Babylon 5 universe, and put pen to paper on what he sees there! Exciting!

    Now I know we have a long road ahead of us, and many hurdles to overcome until we make that trip to the movie theater and purchase our tickets. But that day will come, and it will be glorious my friends. In 2015, we will all join JMS as he takes the first step into achieving that goal. This is the year something wonderful is created again, and I'm stoked!

  • #2
    Originally posted by JesseW View Post
    Ok so, 2015 is finally here, and the last I heard JMS is going to sit down and write a B5 movie script this year!

    I know that the Great Maker has many other things on his plate, including the Netflix series Sense8, which I’m fabulously excited about by the way, but I can’t help but to get excited that at some point THIS YEAR, JMS is going to sit down at his NEW desk, and visit an entirely NEW Babylon 5 universe, and put pen to paper on what he sees there! Exciting!

    Now I know we have a long road ahead of us, and many hurdles to overcome until we make that trip to the movie theater and purchase our tickets. But that day will come, and it will be glorious my friends. In 2015, we will all join JMS as he takes the first step into achieving that goal. This is the year something wonderful is created again, and I'm stoked!
    I too am excited! Not holding my breath though, there's so much ground work to be done, and hurdles to leap before a feature film gets off the ground. Much as I love B5, it's a hard sell.

    Keeping all my digits crossed it will happen.
    Last edited by Ubik; 01-03-2015, 03:22 PM.
    Captain John Sheridan: I really *hate* it when you do that.

    Kosh: Good!

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    • #3
      I don't have any doubts that it'll happen. I don't even doubt that JMS will write the script this year. What I'm not sure of is when we'll see the film. This constitutes a personal project for JMS and it may encounter a similar fate to 'The Flickering Light' which has gotten pushed back a number of times. But I'm okay with that as long as it does happen.

      JMS showed us the opening sequence of the Lost Tales at a con on a large, albeit not movie large, screen and it was *wonderful*. I want to see that again. I want that a lot.

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

      Comment


      • #4
        JMS is probably committed up to his eyeballs with projects, but I'm sure his hearts in the right place.

        If the Movie is a reboot, "taking the original concepts and telling a new story", I wonder if that means it will be the original story-line with Sinclair and Delenn?

        http://screenrant.com/babylon-5-movie-reboot/

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by DaveNarn View Post
          If the Movie is a reboot, "taking the original concepts and telling a new story", I wonder if that means it will be the original story-line with Sinclair and Delenn?
          No telling. This is what JMS said about a reboot when talking about the TV series that never happened (after the fact):

          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
          Emphasis mine. Naturally, he's not going to be putting a show together, 'just' a movie. But I think it's going to be an exciting challenge for him. This is going to have to:

          - Attract original fans
          - Attract *lots* of new fans
          - Overcome an automatic aversion to 'reboots' and/or 'remakes' (Really - I wish I had a buck for every person who'd make a knee-jerk comment just based on a headline without reading a linked article!)

          I really, really can't wait, though.

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

          Comment


          • #6
            For my money anything that shows not what we aspire to be, but who we will most likely be is going to be a winner.

            I just watched the Phoenix Comicon 'Points of Departure' panel from the fan experience DVDs this morning.
            There's a lot of great review of the series and speculation of what could have been

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            • #7
              I can't wait. I can't wait until we hear draft one is done. I can't wait until we hear casting has started. I can't wait until we hear production has started. I can't wait until we see the first trailer. I can't wait until we see the second trailer. I can't wait for when we will be able to buy tickets. But mostly I can't wait until we hear the next announcement. I am sooooo ready for there to be some sort of news, anything. Hopefully something will come very soon, but I am not going to hold my breath so don't worry.
              Susan Ivanova, "I'll be in the car."

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              • #8
                Interesting article about the hurdles a B5 movie will face on the road to success:

                http://whatculture.com/tv/babylon-5-...o-overcome.php

                5. Is The Original Series Too Cult?

                4. How Do You Follow Iconic Performances?

                3. Is The Story Too Big For The Movies?

                2. The Legacies Of The Spin Off Series

                1. Can A Movie Version Add Anything To The Franchise?

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

                Comment


                • #9
                  Good article Jan.
                  I think the author may have missed the point that JMS is not attempting to make a carbon copy of the B5 story.

                  They made a good comparison of the Serenity movie to Firefly, but I like the idea of a multi-movie epic on the scale of The Lord of the Rings better.

                  I vote for Robert Zemeckis to direct.
                  He did an incredible job on Back to the Future, Forrest Gump, and Carl Sagan's movie - Contact.

                  The author points to B5 being more relevant now than ever and I agree.
                  It doesn't take much to draw a parallel to the Shadows and Isis or what ever they call themselves now... if nothing else - they dress the same.
                  Last edited by DaveNarn; 01-08-2015, 10:52 AM.

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                  • #10
                    Well, the article was named "5 Problems The New Movie Will Need to Overcome" - it didn't claim to have the answers.

                    All of these items are things that have been under discussion since JMS made the announcement last year, usually preceded by "I'd rather see_______ than a movie because...."

                    And most of the points is legitimate, despite a few factual errors in the article. No, B5 never took off the way Trek did. It doesn't do any good to point out that Trek didn't really take off until it was in constant reruns after cancellation and B5 has never enjoyed that exposure ('Thanks', WB). It's simply true. The #FreeBabylon5 campaign has hoped to help bring the show back into the public consciousness with limited success so far.

                    Is the story too big for the movies? Yeah, if you attempt to tell the whole thing all at once. But there were several intertwined stories told during B5's five-year run...Earth's fall into totalitarianism - Delenn's guilt leading to her leadership of Minbari society - G'Kar's enlightenment - Londo's struggles to do the right thing, just to name a few. Parts of any few of those could go into making a great movie. Or perhaps I should say *first* movie.

                    There's nothing that says that a B5 feature film should even attempt that level of complexity. In fact, that might be a recipe for failure since the movie will, in effect have to introduce B5 to the world all over again.

                    If I have any concern at all, it's mainly that many of us had watched the success of the 'Serenity' movie that followed the aborted 'Firefly' series for indications of how a B5 movie might fare. And while I'm certain that the movie made a profit once it went to video, it didn't make a profit in the theaters - here in the US, at least - which stupidly, it seems the studios are only interested in (barring Netflix, it seems!).

                    There are major differences, of course, since Firefly only lasted 13 episodes and B5 completed its run but that's part of the issue the way I see it. The Firefly fans have always been *extremely* active and motivated due to the aborted nature of their show and yet they couldn't make the film a financial success in the theaters while the B5 fans did get a complete story and so seem to be less motivated to action even if you don't factor in the two decades since B5 ended. Yet JMS has said that the B5 movie will likely have twice the budget of 'Serenity'.

                    This is the sort of discussion I'd love to see JMS weigh in on but I'm also aware that pretty much all he'd be able to say is "Wait and see." Space movies do seem to be doing well lately and that's encouraging.

                    The main point I thought was kind of dumb in the article was "How Do You Follow Iconic Performances?" Oh, I dunno...how about with new great performances? While a number of fans are vocal that they'll be miffed if JMS goes back on his statement that nobody will ever play G'Kar again, I'd never dream of holding him to that if he comes up with a story where G'Kar would be an asset. But the thing is, there are many wonderful actors out there and I'm certain that JMS can find some who can bring his characters to life in as wonderful, if different, ways from the original cast.

                    Jan
                    Last edited by Jan; 01-12-2015, 10:14 AM.
                    "As empathy spreads, civilization spreads. As empathy contracts, civilization contracts...as we're seeing now.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      As well as having to get a new audience to watch it, there’s also that huge and dangerous minefield known as the “existing fans”. I can’t stress enough how I would LOVE to see a new movie on the big screen. But if things like the new Trek is anything to go by, as well as many of the comments I’ve read from B5 fans about a possible new movie…. jms certainly has his work cut out for him.

                      Expectations could be a killer for the movie – it’s like Star Wars fans always hoping to recapture the experience of seeing “A New Hope” as a kid in the cinema back in the ‘70s. It was a one off experience that can’t be revisited….. not least because of the modern trend of dissecting a movie all during it’s development then complaining about how it was a bit of an anti-climax when seeing it after years of talking it to death.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Triple F View Post
                        As well as having to get a new audience to watch it, there’s also that huge and dangerous minefield known as the “existing fans”.
                        I agree. If I had a buck for every fan who's posted that they're afraid that the movie will ruin the original - as though the original would no longer exist - I could go out for a VERY nice dinner!

                        Expectations could be a killer for the movie – it’s like Star Wars fans always hoping to recapture the experience of seeing “A New Hope” as a kid in the cinema back in the ‘70s. It was a one off experience that can’t be revisited….. not least because of the modern trend of dissecting a movie all during it’s development then complaining about how it was a bit of an anti-climax when seeing it after years of talking it to death.
                        I agree with that last but even more so with the first sentence. I don't know why but it seems that many fans don't get (for lack of a better word) how something new can capture the spirit of an original without it being a carbon copy. I wouldn't see any reason to make a feature film if it was just going to rehash the original, be it 'The Gathering' or some other aspect of the series. A movie *isn't* a series any more than a movie is the same as a novel.

                        A good case in point from my own experience was when ST-TNG came out. I was taken aback by the new characters at first but by the end I came away feeling like they'd at least started to recapture the spirit of ST-TOS. There are still a lot of fans who don't admit that there's any Trek but TOS.

                        Ah, fans....gotta love 'em!

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

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          B5 Article Response

                          Originally posted by Jan View Post
                          Interesting article about the hurdles a B5 movie will face on the road to success:

                          http://whatculture.com/tv/babylon-5-...o-overcome.php

                          5. Is The Original Series Too Cult?

                          4. How Do You Follow Iconic Performances?

                          3. Is The Story Too Big For The Movies?

                          2. The Legacies Of The Spin Off Series

                          1. Can A Movie Version Add Anything To The Franchise?

                          Jan
                          I've intentionally not read the article or read the responses from others to determine whether my thoughts align or differ from others.

                          5. Is The Original Series Too Cult?
                          The original Star Trek series was probably as much a cult, if not more so, than Babylon 5. When Star Trek first came out, serious fans of science fiction fans initially derided Star Trek fans since many Star Trek fans were not familiar with classic science fiction stories and only saw science fiction in terms of what Star Trek provided.

                          Star Trek, however, had some major advantages:

                          It was originally shown on a major network: NBC.

                          It was produced by a major television production company, Desilu. Star Trek probably would not have gone forward if it were not for Lucille Ball.

                          Prior to Star Trek, science fiction shows were primarily anthology series (such as The Twilight Zone or The Outer Limits), or geared primarily towards children (such as Lost in Space). The original Star Trek was promoted as a family episodic drama much like Bonanza. In fact, one TV Guide reviewer compared the three Star Trek leads Kirk, Spock and Bones to the Bonanza leads Ben, Hoss and Little Joe. Effectively the cast of Star Trek was promoted as a TV family.

                          The television networks had never seen a coordinated effort to save a show before. During the 1960s network executives generally believed that one letter represented one hundred to one thousand viewers. This was probably not as absurd as this initially sounds, because this was a typical ratio between viewership numbers and letters received. Bjo Trimble changed this dynamic forever. NBC’s mailroom was completely swamped by letters. NBC executives could not believe that they received thousands of well written and passionate letters from fans. The ratio of letters to viewers was significantly higher than anything they had seen before. The initial thought was that the Nielson Ratings had significantly under counted viewership. NBC reversed its decision to cancel the series, but significantly cut the production budget. The third season Star Trek was a mere shell of the first two seasons.

                          Desilu was very adept at syndicating reruns of its shows. At one time, reruns of I Love Lucy were syndicated throughout the world and were literally being shown somewhere twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Desilu applied this same business model to Star Trek. The majority of the fan base for Star Trek came from this syndication. When Paramount acquired Desilu, they continued this successful syndication strategy.

                          In contrast, when jms promoted Babylon 5, Star Trek had become the entrenched answer for science fiction. I’m still truly amazed that jms was able to start production of Babylon 5.

                          By the time Babylon 5 made its appearance, network executives determined that large numbers of fan letters did not necessarily mean a large viewer base, but probably a well organized campaign to write letters.

                          Unlike Desilu and Paramount, Warner Brothers has never understood the value of syndication for reruns for its series, especially Babylon 5. There are also still elements within Warner Brothers that are openly hostile towards anything related to Babylon 5. Likewise, the economics and dynamics for syndication has radically changed since the Star Trek first went into syndication.

                          4. How Do You Follow Iconic Performances?

                          One could ask the same question about the original performances of Shakespeare’s play. By no means am I comparing anything that jms as written to Shakespeare’s plays or sonnets. Only history and generations of viewers can make that determination.

                          It is much better to think of these iconic performances as the foundation and inspiration of stories set in the Babylon 5 Universe. One can effectively echo and reference these icons, without trying to make carbon copies.

                          3. Is The Story Too Big For The Movies?

                          Without getting into story ideas, the Babylon 5 Universe has the potential for many stories: some in the distant past, others contemporary with the original series, and still others set in the future of Babylon 5. No sane person would attempt to tell the entire story of the US Civil War, World War I or World War II in a two to three hour movie. There are many compelling films set within these frames. Likewise, it would be foolhardy and counter-productive to attempt to tell the full story of Babylon 5 in a single film. The Babylon 5 Universe has room for many stories. I’m certain that jms will find a compelling story set in the Babylon 5 Universe suitable for a feature length film. He has already had a fundamental understanding film production by being the producer of Babylon 5 and as the author of a well-regarded book on screen writing. He has honed that understanding by working with Clint Eastwood, Kenneth Branagh, and Andy and Lana Wachowski.

                          2. The Legacies Of The Spin Off Series

                          Writing and producing Babylon 5 significantly affected the health of jms. He suffered greatly in giving birth to Babylon 5. TNT intentionally killed Crusade and provided such a low production budget for The Legend of the Rangers and The Lost Tales, that they became puppet shows with living puppets. Jms has had time to dispassionately consider alternative stories since that time.

                          1. Can A Movie Version Add Anything To The Franchise?

                          When jms crafted Babylon 5, he intentionally made it extremely difficult for Babylon 5 to continue into a sixth season. From the beginning, he had a definitive beginning, middle and end in mind for Babylon 5.

                          However, there is abundant room in the Babylon 5 Universe for new stories that complement and illuminate the original series; much like Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead has allowed a new perspective on Shakespeare’s Hamlet.
                          Last edited by Dan Dassow; 01-12-2015, 06:09 PM. Reason: original post munched

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                          • #14
                            Does anyone know if JMS is going to say if he's started or progressing or maybe announce when it's finished?
                            "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."

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Marsden View Post
                              Does anyone know if JMS is going to say if he's started or progressing or maybe announce when it's finished?
                              He didn't mention that he would be doing so. If I can manage to get Comic-Con tickets this year I'll be listening for anything he might say about the project. Wish me luck


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

                              Comment

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