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Old July 14th 08, 04:11   #1
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JMS update on Lost Tales/Feature

This is part of a post from JMS in response to recent discussions about more Lost Tales or a B5 movie:
One final note re: recent discussions on TMoS and more Lost Tales.

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 B5
audience?" 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

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

So I've let everyone up here know that I'm not interested in doing any
more 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.

Good from him. It's time for WB to put up or shut up.

"You know, I used to think that life was terribly unfair. Then I thought, wouldn't it be much worse if life were fair? If all the terrible things that happen to us come because we actually deserve them? So now I take great comfort in the general hostility and unfairness of the universe." ~~Marcus Cole
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Old July 14th 08, 06:01   #2
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Re: JMS update on Lost Tales/Feature

Ah, so this is it. I'll miss B5, and yet I won't. I think he's being very sensible about the series and "universe" he spent so much time and effort molding. It does diminish from a project like this to keep adding to it, but adding pulp and not substance.

So this is most likely it: the end of B5. It was nice knowing you. Thanks for passing our way. We are richer for it.
"If we crave some cosmic purpose, then let us find ourselves a worthy goal."
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Old July 14th 08, 06:45   #3
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Re: JMS update on Lost Tales/Feature

Part of me feels it's a pity, just because more B5 would always be welcome - but the greater part of me agrees with JMS and his decision.

What I'd really wish for - apart from that big-budget big-screen movie, which would be great to have some day - would be a few more books, but I assume there is no chance of that happening any more, either. Ah well. It was a terrific story and we've already got more "extras" than we could have expected 8-9 years ago.
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Old July 14th 08, 07:37   #4
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Re: JMS update on Lost Tales/Feature

A good news bad news post from JMS. Maybe with his star rising in Hollywood he thought this was his best shot at getting WB to commit to B5 on a bigger scale and a bigger budget. If any other studio had the rights to B5, I think we would have seen something on the small screen or big screen years ago.

A perfect example of this is Firefly / Serenity and what Fox and Universal did after realizing thier mistake and bringing Serenity to the big screen. It may have not been a big hit but I think after the dvd sales they still came out ahead. When, if ever will WB pull thier heads out of thier ass and see what is so obvious to all of us. Babylon 5 deserves better.

So as JMS said. A line has been drawn in the sand. Now lets see what happens. I do not hold out much hope but " Hope is all we have. "

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Old July 14th 08, 12:38   #5
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Re: JMS update on Lost Tales/Feature

I'm surprised that he didn't mention a possible new TV show.A big budget movie sounds great but I doubt that the studio will ever give 20-30 million dollars for a single B5 film, although it may have a huge success not only among fans.On the other hand a TV show season can be done for about the same amount of money and still look professional.
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Old July 14th 08, 16:49   #6
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Re: JMS update on Lost Tales/Feature

All things must end. Personally, if I'd been running B5, I would have ended it at "Sleeping in Light" -- good endings are so hard to get, and when you've got one as perfect as that, you stop. Don't f*** it up.

(What would that have lost us, really? Three abortive projects? I know I'm making all the Crusade fans mad, and at the time I would have been pulling for Crusade too, but with hindsight I would say, let SiL be the end and call it good.)

Time to let the universe rest. Been quite a ride.
Know what you do.

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Old July 15th 08, 02:12   #7
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Re: JMS update on Lost Tales/Feature

I think JMS did the right thing. Maybe we'll get real lucky, and WB will pony-up for a B5 movie, done right. If Changeling, and some other of JMS' big projects pay off, maybe WB will finally give him the respect he deserves. Guess we'll have to wait until Halloween to find out!
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Old July 15th 08, 06:38   #8
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Re: JMS update on Lost Tales/Feature

...in the end I think they did more to
subtract from the legacy than add to it.
To be honest, I think this statement applies to everything produced after In the Beginning. After ItB nothing he produced for the B5 universe lived up to the quality of the first 4 years of the original series. But that's just my opinion.
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Old July 15th 08, 09:25   #9
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Re: JMS update on Lost Tales/Feature

I tend to agree with Bester. More false starts are not what is needed. Warners need to just pony up the cash it deserves or let it rest. They have no other sci-fi franchises to speak of, so I can't see what their issue is. BSG, Stargate and Trek are all owned and propogated by rival media studios, so why can't warners to the same with B5 ?

The Trek movie may bring it around, but I doubt it. I think JMS is doing the right thing here, he has to stick to his guns.
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Old July 15th 08, 14:53   #10
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Re: JMS update on Lost Tales/Feature

I gotta say I agree with his decision. I never liked Rangers. Could have. But the finished product wasn't up to what came before. I will say I *did* like the Lost Tales DVD. Sure they were short and sweet, but it was a nice little return to the B5 world. That said, I myself am not super excited to see more Lost Tales DVDs, I'd rather see something more substantial.

There was another franchise on the border of making a similar mistake with some smaller false-starts: Farscape. The series was canceled. It was a great series. Fan outcry got them a TV miniseries, which closed the loop and gave the story an ending (and I thought it was EXCELLENT). But then in November they were talking about some small webisodes. WHY? You had a great ending to the show! Talk about taking several steps back...

I'm glad JMS came to the conclusion not to do this, and took an all or nothing stance. His career has taken off where he can afford to take a stance like that and he should for the good of what he has created. I think its the right thing to do.
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Last edited by Recoil; July 15th 08 at 14:59.
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