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Old July 13th 21, 11:52   #1
Ubik
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JMS has TWO new B5 related things in the works

Cross posted from JMSNews, Jan reported back from the 'Together we will go' book launch event that JMS stated he's got two B5 things in the works but that he's contractually not able to say any more than that.

This, coupled with the fact he was also looking to speak to folks with the original B5 VFX assets, there are a few likely guesses that arise from that. So... LET THE SPECULATING BEGIN.

My best guesses:

-An animated series or features for HBOMax, likely produced in house as WB has a respected animation arm.

-B5 audio drama.

CAVEAT: These things often come to nothing, but it's fun to speculate a bit.
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Old July 13th 21, 12:12   #2
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Re: JMS has TWO new B5 related things in the works

Exciting! Though as you note, we have been here before, with The Memory of Shadows and the reboot that never happened (though I suppose that could still be on the cards).

I think we know about the animated features that are planned, and I'm really curious about how they are going to turn out, if they indeed happen.

I did read a rumour somewhere that the other project was a documentary, a bit like DS9's What We Left Behind documentary. That was crowd-funded though, so dunno.
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Old July 13th 21, 12:32   #3
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Re: JMS has TWO new B5 related things in the works

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Exciting! Though as you note, we have been here before, with The Memory of Shadows and the reboot that never happened (though I suppose that could still be on the cards).
.
Yeah, and the B5 movie! That one was announced with such swagger and confidence that I really bought into it.

I'd be very down with animated stuff. I'd also love to see more guest writers with JMS as exec producer / showrunner.
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Old July 13th 21, 12:48   #4
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Re: JMS has TWO new B5 related things in the works

oh! exciting!
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Old July 13th 21, 12:54   #5
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Re: JMS has TWO new B5 related things in the works

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Yeah, and the B5 movie! That one was announced with such swagger and confidence that I really bought into it.
You say a B5 movie was announced "with such swagger", but I always remember there being a caveat mentioned every time JMS talked about there being a movie. I had HIGH hopes of there being a movie, but I was always realistic that it was dependent on whatever money he could raise and what success he could have with all of the other things he was trying to make including SENSE 8. I think it was pretty obvious that initially Sense 8 was not the home run he was hoping for as far as immediate success in the mass media world. But I understand why he might have gotten his hopes up that it would be a huge hit with the scope of what they were doing.

I know this is very defensive, but your wording made it sound like you were tricked and I never remember JMS saying "I'm making a Babylon 5 movie, period end of sentence buy your ticket now." I always remember him adding the stipulations of "street cred" and "investment". I wanted to believe, but those two stipulations are high hurdles to jump. And if I am being honest, two very believable backdoors out of announcing that you are making a movie. I can claim I am making a B5 movie if I can get the funding from investors and then when I can't get it made you'll know why. That and the fact that I have no legal right to make a Babylon 5 movie.
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Old July 13th 21, 15:04   #6
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Re: JMS has TWO new B5 related things in the works

I agree Looney, JMS was being cautious, but to be fair it did have a director attached to it, a filming schedule and production offices set up in the UK. So there was a level of excitement to it beyond JMS just saying he wanted to make a movie.

I wonder how far into pre-production it got? Were there design concepts, had they cast anyone etc? I know there was disagreement about getting Tracy Scoggins back as Lochley, in that WB wanted to recast her. Who knows, maybe it will take form as one of these animated features?

And on that topic, what stories would people like to see in these animated features? One has got to be the Telepath War, surely? Especially as most of the principle players are still with us – Lyta, Lennier, Matheson, Bester, and stick Ivanova, Lochley and Sheridan in the mix. I think an animated feature could really showcase the psionic battles better than the series did in The Corps is Mother, the Corps is Father.
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Old July 13th 21, 16:59   #7
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Re: JMS has TWO new B5 related things in the works

I think we're talking about two different projects here. Yes, TMOS got further along...

I think Looney and I were both talking about the San Diego Comic Con announced B5 film in 2014.

Quoted from news articles at the time


"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.

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."

And from Jan's report of the panel:

So it's been a really big year for Studio JMS. And due to that, he can now look to doing a feature film ffor B5. JMS recapped that WB owns everything about B5 except the movie rights and even though he holds the film rights, to take a B5 movie to another studio without holding the TV rights wouldn't work. There's one studio in LA that doesn't care about that - Studio JMS - and in 2015 JMS will write the script. He'll give WB the opportunity to step up, but if they don't, Studio JMS will make it in 2016 on thieir own with a $1-200,000,000.00 budget.

This stuff was all said with a totally straight face, and not many caveats were given. It was all big lights and bluster.

The caveats about 'street cred' came later when it became painfully clear it was never going to happen. It was presented in no uncertain terms as 'i'm going to write it' and Studio JMS are going to make it if WB pass on it. This is why I take any B5 announcements with a large truck load of salt. JMS loves hyperbole, especially his own.
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Old July 13th 21, 17:03   #8
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Re: JMS has TWO new B5 related things in the works

On balance, I think JMS learned a lot from the San Diego outing, and has been a lot more cautious with announcements, waiting for things to be locked in contractually.

But the B5 Movie thing left a bit of a sour taste because it was presented so confidently.
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Old July 13th 21, 17:27   #9
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Re: JMS has TWO new B5 related things in the works

Right, yes of course. I'd completely forgotten that the reboot was intended to be a movie not a series (which in hindsight makes more sense as JMS only had the movie rights). And yes, I do remember him now saying that Studio JMS would make it if no one else did – a bold claim!

To play devil's advocate: JMS was searching for investors if WB weren't interested, and what an investor wants to hear is confidence that a project will go ahead. So JMS had to appear really confident to give the project any chance. As it was, it seems no one was interested in investing in it. But for the fans, it does then seem like the goalposts got moved.

I really wasn't sure at the time how I felt about a reboot, and still aren't sure, so I didn't invest myself in the idea as much. Probably why I don't remember the details now!
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Old July 13th 21, 18:33   #10
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Re: JMS has TWO new B5 related things in the works

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R

I really wasn't sure at the time how I felt about a reboot, and still aren't sure, so I didn't invest myself in the idea as much. Probably why I don't remember the details now!

If animated features / series are a thing, then I think I'd feel fine about a reboot in a different medium. It definitely gets around a lot of issues. Who knows what it'll be at this point!?!

I guess we just wait and see.
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