J. Michael Straczynski Announces ‘Babylon 5′ Feature Film Reboot, Eyes 2016 Production Start

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J. Michael Straczysnki has announced plans for a Babylon 5 feature film, which is expected to enter production in 2016.

Speaking at San Diego Comic Con last week, Straczsynki announced that he would soon be sitting down to write a Babylon 5 feature film, which is envisioned as a reboot of the iconic sci-fi series. JMS said that he plans to get the script locked down by the end of 2015 and the film would then enter production the following year in 2016.

Next to nothing is known about the plot for this Babylon 5 feature film, beyond the fact that it is a reboot of the concept seen in the series. That said, J. Michael Straczynski has stated that he would like to use cast members from the series, such as Bruce Boxleitner and Mira Furlan, in new roles in the feature film. “I’d love to see Bruce as the President of the Earth Alliance”, he said.

The hope is that Warner Bros, who produced the Babylon 5 television series, would step up and green-light a “big budget” feature film once the script has been completed. But owing to the nature of the deal that Straczysnki inked with the studio to produce Babylon 5 in the early 1990s, he, rather than Warner Bros, owns the feature film rights to the show. Should Warner Bros. choose not to greenlight a B5 movie, Straczynski would still proceed with the feature, which would then be funded and produced through his Studio JMS banner on a budget of $80 – $100 million.

This marks the first piece of solid news for a potential Babylon 5 feature film, which Straczysnki has been trying to produce since the 1990s. The writer/producer/director now has the option to proceed without Warner Bros. thanks to the financial success of Studio JMS, whose diverse slate of projects include the upcoming Netflix series Sense8.

Straczynski has previously pitched at least three Babylon 5 feature films. The first was in 1996 and was to tell the story of The Telepath war; while the second, tentatively titled Babylon 5: The Motion Picture, told the story of President Sheridan investigating when the entire crew of a White Star are found dead. It was the third film pitch, The Memory of Shadows, which came closest to fruition in 2004/2005. The project fell apart, however, when funding for the film could not be secured.

See Also – ‘Babylon 5′ Feature Film Reboot Will Not Rely On Crowdfunding

32 comments on “J. Michael Straczynski Announces ‘Babylon 5′ Feature Film Reboot, Eyes 2016 Production Start

  1. WIth Straczsynki involved, they’ll do it right. I wonder if they’ll do like BSG and re-use players from the original series. Love to see Jerry Doyle back in the saddle- maybe as a Centauri this time. :)

  2. I played Jane, the ISN Anchor in every season of B5 and was brought on to Crusade to lend continuity. I’m happy to do add a touch of nostalgia and authenticity to the movie, too. Regardless, I’m happy for the fans who are starving for some B5! Thank you, JMS! Maggie Egan

  3. Kosh: Since it’s a reboot, it doesn’t matter what happened to the characters in the original show, since it it won’t have happened in the reboot.

  4. Sheridan’s death happened either 20 or 25 years after the end of the Shadow war, moments after the demolition of the B5 station. So, this movie could still maintain the original timeline. But, if it doesn’t, I’m still fine with that. I trust JMS to get it right.
    And, Maggie, thank you for your contributions to a series that I still love to watch to this day.

  5. I have been re-watching B5 (just started season 4) and it’s still an amazing piece of work. Fabulous writing, wonderful performances (yeah, the special effects are a little dated but it holds up incredibly well where some older works don’t.) I’d be thrilled for a reboot with Straczsynki at the helm.

  6. if it is a reboot and i wouldn’t mind it, i don’t think anybody will ever do Londo Mollaris Character as good as Peter Jurasik. its hard to see B5 without him.

  7. The death of Sheridan will still happen. There’s simply no way around that; however, there’s 20 years of history that hasnt been explored. The movie will most likely be around there, or at the very least, start there.

  8. That’s marvellous!

    I’d love to see B5 revived, it’s been far too long since the series ended, and deserves some more air.

    The only concern I have about reboots is that a lot of the magic of an original show is with the actors playing the characters and the chemistry they create between them. How do you replace a Jerry Doyle or Claudia Christian? Not to mention that marvellous actors like Richard Biggs, Jeff Conaway, and Andreas Katsulas who are no longer with us were so foundational to that chemistry.

    But JMS is behind this, so I reckon he’ll find a way. At least it hasn’t been given over to Michael Bay…

  9. If it is a reboot of the original series and concepts, i would love to see how the redesign of some of the aliens and ships and stations are worked since all of these are iconic now. Also since the realm of cinematography has become more dynamic it is going to be interesting to see how these tactics help to make B5 pop even more.

    Aside from my curiosity about techicalities on making the cgi and physical elements; for MJS, in this day and age where “fillers” help keep the attention of the audience, how are you going to deliver a philisophically and spiritually rich story without resorting to explicit content, explosions, overdrawn scenes? Also in chatting up with some other Babylonians; we all have it in agreement that prolonged prolouge and expository loses our intrest fast… and this is prooven to be twice as true in the modern joe/jane audiencesb how do you intend to grip the audiences in a deep way quickly that can make them long for more of what B5 has to offer: both in new content as well as old?

    ~Ari

  10. As it will be a reboot theres no telling what direction JMS may take the movie. I’d certainly like to see the Technomages roles expanded, and the whole thing just made more EPIC, due to better funding etc. As we’ve seen with Star Trek, things can certainly be rebooted successfully.

  11. Always wary of reboots, but B5 and JMS are certainly deserving of my time and money, by far still my favourite show!

  12. Dazza: rotten example, as the Jar-Jar Abrams crap pretending to be Star Trek might have been financially successful, but was an absolute horror to see done to such a beloved franchise.

    On the other hand, the Battlestar Galactica reboot – while not perfect – did an amazing job; as this putative reboot of Babylon 5 would have the Great Maker himself at the helm, I’m cautiously optimistic that it would go well. What I hope is that such a film would pressure WB to invest in the restoration necessary to release the original series on Blu-Ray.

  13. Loved the original, eager to see more B5, bit dubious about the reboot part. I’m with Furr on having been profoundly underwhelmed by the Star Trek reboot. We’ll see, I suppose! I’m sure I’ll watch it in any case. And I’m glad more attention is being paid to the series in general!

  14. Wonderful news! JMS is the only one who can pull this off. I for one am tired of the false starts, let’s get this going! There are enough fans to crowd source this movie.

    And I loved Maggie Egan’s ISN reports

  15. I wouldn’t mind a reboot but I’d rather JMS and Warner Brothers sit down and work out the funding needed to get the series on BLU RAY first even if it means completely rebuilding all CGI/Special FX. If JMS is in charge of the project then you know it would be done right.

  16. Re-watching the pilot a few years ago was a little painful with everyone sitting around reading “Universe Today” newspapers. Who reads newspapers anymore? Nevertheless the show was absolutely brilliant. The sky is the limit with JMS and modern technology. I hope it happens!

  17. The Shadow/Vorlon storylines were the ones that I most enjoyed from B5. I’d love to see a movie featuring the old races before they left for the rim – perhaps told as a flashback from the perspective of an aging President Sheridan – I could envisage a story about a top secret mission with new cast members – perhaps as Rangers in White Star ships.

  18. Great news ! Count me in 2017 with popcorn, soda and a huge smile on my face !
    B5 was a landmark in TV science-fiction, with a great storyline and an amazing cast of actors. JMZ is one of the best writers / producers of his generation and turned B5 a success even with budgetary restrictions, so I bet my hat he will perform way better in the big screen with a fat budget and state-of-the-art special effects.
    But I think the Babylon 5 saga would be much more likely to fit for a trilogy than to a single motion picture.

  19. Are you kidding me! It’s about time. Reboot/ no Reboot whatever if JMS is in I’m in. Woo Hoo. Best TV scifi EVER!

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