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B5 Feature Film to be scriptedTRUE! There will be a feature film going into productio

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B5 Feature Film to be scripted

Thought I'd give this topic its own thread.

News coming out of JMS SDCC panel via the ever reliable Jan Schroeder, is that there will be a feature film going into production in 2016 with or without WB's support. Studio JMS has been successful enough to look at doing this.

This is AMAZING news! FAR better than sock puppets!
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I think, logically, it has to be a reboot with a new cast. Too many of the original cast have passed beyond the rim, and many are now too old to convincingly reprise their roles. I would also guess that it can't really be set after, or during the events of the original TV series, because that would alienate far too much of the films potential audience - the general cinema going public. It would have to be what Serenity is to Firefly. Done in such a way that new viewers can get to know the universe with no prior knowledge.

However, I could see a lot of the old cast getting cameos, perhaps in the vein of Star Wars VII. Or, as the above videos suggests, perhaps playing totally different characters that are relevant to the story.

Stepping back for a monent though. Even if JMS writes a script, is there really any certainty this will get made? It would still need a home, backers and financing. So, whilst I'm very excited, I'm not holding my breath until I see something more concrete, like ink on the page with a studio.

I think we all remember the TMOS experience. Hopefully this is different and JMS is better placed now to get this made.
 
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Slight correction to my own post, from Jan's SDCC update:

"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 thier own with a $1-200,000,000.00 budget."

Colour me really freaking excited. This IS happening!
 
Further info from the SDCC JMS panel:

Asked if the film would be a reboot or a continuation:

"It would have to be a reboot because it's been twenty-plus years since we started that show and some of the age ranges wouldn't work with some of these characters so we'd need to move a few people around. But what I want to do is use the original cast one way or another but we'd have to move some things around. I'd love to see Bruce as the President of the Earth Alliance; it would be the perfect role for him."
 
Mixed feelings about this. Obviously a B5 movie is an exciting thing to look forward to. I can see lots of plusses in getting a movie - greater interest in B5, more merchandise, more possibilities for getting the original show out on Blu-Ray etc etc. And it will be awesome to see the station on the big screen.

But – a couple of things work against the idea of doing a movie for me. Firstly when the show began I bought into the notion of doing five years then ending, not becoming a franchise. While I'm not necessarily averse to doing more, it has to be as good and to fit in with the original series, but the stuff that has come since the initial five-year storyline has not always been as good as the main series itself, so I worry about the quality. It's like it is hard to recapture that magic the original show had. Secondly, B5 was the five-year arc, that's what defined it - would it work as a standalone movie with only tenuous links to the original? Third – I really dislike the idea of a reboot. It feels like a disservice to the original show, that somehow it was flawed and needed doing again. Give us a new space-based series JMS, don't regurgitate old ideas.

Of course, I'm ready to be proven wrong and if and when it is made, I'll no doubt be first in the queue to see it :)
 
Mixed feelings about this. Obviously a B5 movie is an exciting thing to look forward to. I can see lots of plusses in getting a movie - greater interest in B5, more merchandise, more possibilities for getting the original show out on Blu-Ray etc etc. And it will be awesome to see the station on the big screen.

But – a couple of things work against the idea of doing a movie for me. Firstly when the show began I bought into the notion of doing five years then ending, not becoming a franchise. While I'm not necessarily averse to doing more, it has to be as good and to fit in with the original series, but the stuff that has come since the initial five-year storyline has not always been as good as the main series itself, so I worry about the quality. It's like it is hard to recapture that magic the original show had. Secondly, B5 was the five-year arc, that's what defined it - would it work as a standalone movie with only tenuous links to the original? Third – I really dislike the idea of a reboot. It feels like a disservice to the original show, that somehow it was flawed and needed doing again. Give us a new space-based series JMS, don't regurgitate old ideas.

Of course, I'm ready to be proven wrong and if and when it is made, I'll no doubt be first in the queue to see it :)

I totally understand those conerns. I disliked all of the TNT films except 'In the Beginning', and anything post B5 proper has been diminishing returns.

However, I can't see how you can possibly get around the 'reboot' thing, not without completely ruining the chances of the film doing well. B5 needs NEW fans, and the only way to do that is to present it anew from the start. The last thing you want with a feature film is barriers to entry. It's one thing that Serenity got right.

I certain don't see it as negatively impacting the original show. In fact, to me, it's more positive. It has a chance to be something different. Hopefully different enough to engage us old school B5 fans all over again.

I have my doubts too, but I think JMS has enough perspective on it - having been through the wringer with Crusade and Lost Tales. He's already stated that he doesn't want to do anything that doesn't enrich the B5 universe. I think he's had his fair share of mis-steps to know what's right and wrong for B5. If anything, this is his one real shot at getting it right on his own terms. If it doesn't deliver, then that should be the final nail in the coffin.

At least we'll always have the existing show regardless of what comes next. I for one am excited to see that universe again, and I'm glad it's not going to be a half arsed spin off show or left over ideas done on a budget.
 
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reading on facebook and such, some fans saying they wont go and see it because the cast might change? jeezus. It didn't do star trek the reboot any harm did it? Also the story might change a little. So what? B5 is B5 - the series. Just like the Game of thrones books are different from the TV series. Each is it's own thing. We still have the TV series. We are now getting a feature film with a (rumoured) very decent budget.

What is there not to like here?
 
reading on facebook and such, some fans saying they wont go and see it because the cast might change? jeezus. It didn't do star trek the reboot any harm did it? Also the story might change a little. So what? B5 is B5 - the series. Just like the Game of thrones books are different from the TV series. Each is it's own thing. We still have the TV series. We are now getting a feature film with a (rumoured) very decent budget.

What is there not to like here?

There's always a strata of fandom that really likes to complain if anything deviates from their beloved show. They clearly fear change. Whilst their devotion to the original cast is sweet, it's also deeply unrealistic to think they're the right people to carry a B5 feature, 20 years on from the original series.

It would be like Abrams casting the TNG crew... It just wouldn't fly.

The film certainly won't really harm the original series at all, or diminish it. People needs to be positive about this if they want it to get off the ground. Too much bickering for my liking on the FB groups.

Healthy debate... not a problem, but outright 'this is going to suck because...' just strikes me as negativity for the sake of it!

BTW Phil, you are a stones throw away from me. I'm in York!
 
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Hey, I'm originally from Yorkshire too!

I digress...

If the film does enough to prompt Warners to get those Blu-Rays out, then I'll be happy even if the film is not to my liking. If the film ends up bring great too, then we get both. Win-win.

My skepticism about the reboot is mainly a creative thing - I'd like to see something new and completely different, set in space. In practical terms the age of the cast makes the reboot a more sensible idea, and I understand that.

Just a discussion point, I had been reading some reviews of B5 online recently, and they pointed out that the 'UN in space' was a very 90s thing where the United Nations was prominent following the break up of the Soviet Union. In the modern era and the so-called 'war on terror' the UN seems to have been sidelined somewhat, so is the UN-style of politics that is in B5 as relevant now as it was in the 1990s? Will this change the tone of the new B5 to reflect the time it is made in, just as the original B5 is a product of the 90s?
 
Just a discussion point, I had been reading some reviews of B5 online recently, and they pointed out that the 'UN in space' was a very 90s thing where the United Nations was prominent following the break up of the Soviet Union. In the modern era and the so-called 'war on terror' the UN seems to have been sidelined somewhat, so is the UN-style of politics that is in B5 as relevant now as it was in the 1990s? Will this change the tone of the new B5 to reflect the time it is made in, just as the original B5 is a product of the 90s?

That's actualy a very good question. It's probably important to point out that the "UN In Space" aspect of B5 was a complete and total failure, as they themselves admitted on the show, so I'm not *sure* how 90s that was. Certainly not the image the UN has ever had of itself.

Actually, the bulk of the UN's job is coordinating aid, relief, medical stuff, education initiatives, and negotiating an end to wars is a fairly small part of their purview. Which is good, as they were never very good at it. Presumably those are roles the ISA would do, but we never saw much of it in the B5 Council/League. I never really thought of that until you pointed it out. Good one.

Nowadays unilateral action is not the norm - we had plenty of allies in Iran and Iraq who had no real reason to be there other than we asked them to please help - but coordinated international military stuff on more than an ad-hoc basis has been really hard to maintain. NATO, for instance, did not make a good showing for itself in Libya, most of the members don't really live up to their financial and treaty obligations, and the US has gone from footing 50% of the bill in 1960 to something like 75%-80% of the bill nowadays, mostly, I imagine, out of laziness in the absence of any credible foe.

Interesting thought.
 
I have a lot of concerns about this. Not the least of which is that we've been burned by this sort of thing at least 7 previous times that we know about, and probably as many that we don't.

The "Reboot" idea bugs me because it was JMS' refusal to recast that ankled TMOS, and if he refuses to ever recast G'Kar out of respect for his friend, then what's the point of retelling the story, just with a G'kar-oid character there? I'm also concerned about *why* a reboot in the first place? Do we have to sit through the Shadow War again?

There are some obvious logical reasons to do a reboot: a very complex backstory, old and increasingly unattractive cast, just some obvious screw ups in the show that he'd like to fix, and, hell, just erasing Crusade/Rangers/Lost Tales would be tempting.

That said, I feel it would be a bad idea. Yeah, the cast are old, but the cast dont' need to be the stars, they just need to be there. The story can be about David Sheridan and Garibaldi's daughter, and Some New Guy Who's Replace Franklin, and so on. As long as The Old Guard are there, and each have like one good scene, I'd be satisfied, and so would most of us, I think. Then we could just have a nice new story about mostly new characters, with the old ones holding their coats, but still treated respectfully.

And of coruse that means we don't have to sit through The Shadow War again.
 
I think the fans complaining of new actors must not realize what a great opportunity this could be for the original cast if they get to play new parts. Look at what Walter Koenig did with the part of Bester. He was so much more than just Chekov and I think anybody who thinks that Mira, Peter or any of the others are any less skilled actors is selling them short.

Burned at least seven times? Name them, please.

And would the people who think that JMS has become possessed by an idiot (not necessarily here) please identify themselves? Whatever he means by reboot, chances are it's not anything we're likely to have thought of. JMS likes to take what we're expecting and turn it upside down and inside out and I expect no less this time.

Jan
 
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Wasn't there a comment on how BB would make a great Earth President? My point earlier about the story being the story an the film being the film is that it gives JMS artistic licence in a way to give us something different, but the same....

Hell even I wouldn't go and watch the shadow war as it was in the series. Been there seen it done it, bought the box set.

Thing about a movie. It opens up so many possibilities - for example JMS was limited by budget in the series... that limitation would be almost gone. The series was charactersentric partly because of budget, (don't get me wrong the story was great) the movie doesnt have to be. You can open up so many things and reimagine them.

That has to be a good thing surely.

And yes i'm all for actors changing roles. BB was an excellent bad guy in DOFS.




The possibilities are endless.
 
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I have a lot of concerns about this. Not the least of which is that we've been burned by this sort of thing at least 7 previous times that we know about, and probably as many that we don't.

I can think of a few - TMOS, Crusade, TLT, Rangers, and the failed reboot due to venue falling through. Although, in the case of a few, something actually got made, but not much more than a handful of episodes, which is potentially even more frustrating! Allowing for that, that would be five. What are the other two?

The "Reboot" idea bugs me because it was JMS' refusal to recast that ankled TMOS, and if he refuses to ever recast G'Kar out of respect for his friend, then what's the point of retelling the story, just with a G'kar-oid character there? I'm also concerned about *why* a reboot in the first place? Do we have to sit through the Shadow War again?

There are some obvious logical reasons to do a reboot: a very complex backstory, old and increasingly unattractive cast, just some obvious screw ups in the show that he'd like to fix, and, hell, just erasing Crusade/Rangers/Lost Tales would be tempting.

That said, I feel it would be a bad idea. Yeah, the cast are old, but the cast dont' need to be the stars, they just need to be there. The story can be about David Sheridan and Garibaldi's daughter, and Some New Guy Who's Replace Franklin, and so on. As long as The Old Guard are there, and each have like one good scene, I'd be satisfied, and so would most of us, I think. Then we could just have a nice new story about mostly new characters, with the old ones holding their coats, but still treated respectfully.
And of coruse that means we don't have to sit through The Shadow War again.

JMS has already indicated that he wants to use some of the old cast, but in other roles. As you say, I think it’d be hard to go for anything that jumps off from the B5 we know, because you’d alienate a large chunk of your potential audience. We can’t really expect new viewers to be familiar with B5 canon. I have a feeling we won’t be sitting through familiar events again. When I think of ‘reboot’, I’m thinking more of Abrams Star Trek, where the universe is familiar but there’s plenty of scope of new things. If I know JMS, things will be different, and our expectations will be turned upside down, in a good way. I doubt a simple re-telling would satisfy him creatively.

We’ve already seen that any continuation of the existing B5 verse has been shaky at best, so a ‘hard reset’ seems best to me. At this point, I’m definitely not adverse to that. I think the original cast had their time to shine, so I’m fine with new faces. It allows for far more creative freedom and has more chance of being interesting.

You know what is really great though. We have something to discuss again. These boards have been so very quiet of late, and even if the film doesn’t please everyone it’s kinda nice to talk about B5 as a going concern again.
 
Ok,
1) The TNT Movies (All awful, looked at as a continuing side-series independent of Crusade)
2) Crusade
3) Legend of the Rangers
4) Lost Tales
5) The Memory of Shadows
6) "The Telepath Wars" movie/trilogy
7) Failed Reboot.
 

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