Published at: July 16, 2008, 12:34 p.m. CST by merrick
Taz from the UK sent in a heads up about the status of future BABYLON 5 projects.
In short: BABYLON 5 overgod J. Michael Straczynski (JMS) recently posted a lengthy message at JMSnews.
In the message, he indicated that he & Warners had been discussing further BABYLON 5 projects (probably in the same vein as BABYLON 5: THE LOST TALES, which was released straight-to-DVD last Summer). Warners won't cough up the kind of money JMS feels is necessary to generate good product. JMS has now dismissed the notion of any B5 project other than a feature film. Given the the improbability of a B5 feature film, this pretty much kills BABYLON 5.
See JMS' entire post...
This information has been online for three days and has gotten little-to-no play, which I find rather astonishing. Perhaps this is an indicator that fans's attentions have shifted elsewhere for the moment & that the franchise needs a breather to freshen itself up. Or, perhaps this suggests with finality that B5's time has, simply, come and gone. I don't know.
Personally, I really, really, really want to see more BABYLON 5 - I love it and am convinced there are still great stories to be found in that universe. However, JMS is correct that later B5 endeavors (THE LOST TALES and THE LEGEND OF THE RANGERS) were tragically underfinanced and underproduced - even for a series which was always generated on a dramatically limited budget. They were cheap...in a way that was hard to look past in the era of shows like STAR TREK and HEROES and BATTLESTAR GALACTICA.
More importantly: while I think the breadth of JMS' vision remained healthy, his ability to weave stories in the universe began to feel increasingly challenged. There was a sense that he'd become less and less comfortable on his own playground, and never plugged into the effortless storytelling which permeated much of the earlier series. Maybe the posse of storytellers should've been broadened a bit? Maybe JMS should've done what many creators do & remain a guiding force for the franchise, while sending others out to do the writing & other dirty work he ultimately chose to do himself?
Clint Eastwood's new film CHANGELING, written by JMS, is getting remarkable reviews and word of mouth. Recently, JMS also scripted an adaptation of the WORLD WAR Z. For a while he was plugged into the (apparently defunct) SILVER SURFER movie, and there's indication he may be soon be toiling on a LENSMAN adaptation. It wouldn't be fair to say "he's moved on", but having so much happening in his career undoubtedly makes drawing a hardline about B5 a helluva lot easier. And, his not wanting to short sell B5...and spend so much time and effort just to end up creatively unsatisfied...is quite understandable when there's so much else to fall back on, and so much else at stake.
Still, I hope that B5 is somehow, someday revived - and shown the regard it deserves by Warners & Company. It's a great place to visit, even if our journey there has been troubled and imperfect.