J. Michael Straczysnki has stated that he will not rely on crowdfunding in order to finance and produce a Babylon 5 feature film.
Last week, TVWise reported that Babylon 5 creator J. Michael Straczysnki had announced plans at San Diego Comic Con for a feature film reboot of the sci-fi series. Stracyzysnki will pen the film next year for a projected 2016 production start date. JMS also stated that he hopes to use actors from the series in new roles for the feature film and, thanks to his deal with the studio from the 1990s which saw him retain the feature film rights, he will be making the film regardless of whether or not Warner Bros chooses to get on board.
But with the news that JMS was prepared to go it alone and produce the feature film through his Studio JMS banner on a budget of $80 – $100 million, some question have arisen as to how he will secure funding for the ambitious big budget endeavour. After all, the last attempt to produce a Babylon 5 feature film (The Memory of Shadows in 2003/2004) was derailed when funding could not be secured.
Despite some calls from eager fans, Straczysnki and Studio JMS will not be relying on crowdfunding, through such sites as Kickstarter.com, to finance the production. “I would rather not”, said J. Michael Straczynski. “As much as I understand that Kickstarter and Crowdsourcing are a way for those outside to get involved in the process…I have resisted the lure, because it feels to me like taking advantage of the fans.”
Instead, Straczysnki will be using the forward momentum of his production company Studio JMS to fund the film. The company is currently producing Sense8 for Netflix and they are developing numerous television series and films, including Titans and Repent, Harlequin! JMS plans to use these high profile projects to stimulate investment of up to $200 million in Studio JMS. That investment will in turn be used to finance the B5 feature, should WB choose not to get on board.
“So here’s the plan. We’re going to have, through Studios JMS, at least two maybe three [television] series on the air next year. We’re going to have at least one or two movies going ahead. I’m going to use that to parley serious investment in the studio…I’m not talking Kickstarter, I’m talking a hundred million dollars to two hundred million dollars. We already have people lined up who are interested in doing that [investing in Studio JMS]”.