Thursday, July 17, 2008

The End of Babylon 5?


Sad news if true, but here is a snippet from J.M. Straczynski's newsletter:

"B5:TLT was commissioned at a $2 million budget to, yet one more time,"test the waters" for B5. We did what we could with that, and that was that. As we did with Rangers, which also suffered from not having a lot of money because of concerns about "is there really a B5audience?" Which is, of course, a foolish question from a studio that has never really understood what it has in B5.

Of late, there have been more discussions from WB about doing more DVDs, again at a low cost, or a cable thing, again with minimal investment.

So for the last few months, I've been giving this whole subject a lot of quiet thought. And I've come to a conclusion.

B5 as a five year story stands beautifully on its own. If anything else is to be continued from that story, it should be something that adds to the legacy of B5, rather than subtracts from it.

As well intentioned as Rangers and TLT were, as enticing as it was to return to those familiar waters, in the end I think they did more to subtract from the legacy than add to it. I don't regret having made them, because I needed to go through that to get to the point where I am now psychologically, but from where I sit now, I wouldn't make them again.

So I've let everyone up here know that I'm not interested in doing anymore low-budget DVDs. I'm not interested in doing any low-budget cable things or small computer games. The only thing I would be interested in doing regarding Babylon 5 from this point on is a full-featured, big-budget feature film.

It's that or nothing.

And if it's nothing, I'm totally cool with that because the original story stands on its own just fine. I'm not lobbying for it, I'm not asking fans to write in about it (nor should you) because such campaigns never really have much impact...that's simply the position I've taken up here. Lord knows I don't lack for other things to do these days. I'm busier on more prestige projects with terrific people and great film-makers than at any other time in my career.

At the end of the day, for me, it's not just a matter of getting more B5. It's a matter of getting more "good" B5 that respects what came before it and doesn't have to compromise visually or in terms of action. The original show deserves better than that, the surviving cast members deserve better than that, and the fans who have supported it over the years definitely deserve better than that. A lot better.

So I've drawn that line in the sand, and I'm happy living on whichever side of that line the universe puts me. Just thought you should know,'cause it's your show too. JMS"

Bruce Boxleitner (President John Sheridan), Tracy Scoggins (Colonel Lochley) and Peter Woodward (Galen) were the only previous cast members to appear in 2007's Direct-To-DVD Babylon 5: The Lost Tales. Straczynski had indicated that future DVD releases would touch on the Telepath War and that Sheridan and Delenn's son David would be featured at some point. *Alas, Babylon, if only the studio heads could pull their collective heads out of their asses. *Guess the reference, please!

However, with JMS scoring big on other high profile Hollywood projects, this may just be his way to pressure these very same moguls into doing just that. Only time will tell.

1 comment:

Kevin Levell said...

Hi Chuck,

Great blog you've got here. lots of interesting stuff to read here - cool!

Thanks for stopping by mine and for the really encouraging comment, thanks too for the links!