Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Television Movies Sci-Fi

Babylon 5 May Finally Get a Big-Screen Debut 252

Posted by timothy
from the have-you-tried-turning-it-off-and-back-on? dept.
Ars Technica reports that "J. Michael Straczynski will shortly begin work on a rebooted big-screen version of his 1990s sci-fi TV series [ Babylon 5]." From the article: According to JMS's latest announcement, the new script will be targeted at a 2016 theatrical release and will be a reboot of the series rather than a continuation. This is necessary for both dramatic and practical purposes—the series was in regular production from 1994-1998, and the cast has simply aged too far to credibly play themselves again during the series’ main timeline. Additionally, several of the foundational cast members — Michael O'Hare, Andreas Katsulas, Richard Biggs, and Jeff Conaway — have passed away. ... The movie rights to the Babylon 5 property remain in JMS's hands, but the creator is hopeful that this time around, Warner Bros. will choose to finance the film instead of passing on it. Nonetheless (at least according to TV Wise), JMS is prepared to fund the movie through his own production company if necessary — something that wasn't a possibility ten years ago — suggesting that B5 will in fact come to the big screen at last.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Babylon 5 May Finally Get a Big-Screen Debut

Comments Filter:
  • by I'm just joshin (633449) on Sunday August 10, 2014 @10:22AM (#47641931)

    The avalanche has already started, it is too late for the pebbles to vote.

  • by Oliver Wendell Jones (158103) on Sunday August 10, 2014 @10:23AM (#47641939)
    Maybe they could get around to putting the series up on Netflix so that the rest of the world, other than hardcore scifi nerds, will get a chance to view it and be ready for when it comes to theaters?
    • by GrumpySteen (1250194) on Sunday August 10, 2014 @10:43AM (#47642025)

      It's a reboot, not a continuation. It starts from the beginning, so you don't have to see the TV series in order to watch the movie.

      • There hasn't been any confirmation that it will be a "reboot", even though the word keeps getting used. Doing a reboot where everything that has already been done is completely ignored and the same story is told a different way seems to me to not be the kind of thing that JMS would do, especially since I can't imagine trying to tell the entire story of the series in one movie, or even a few movies. I would think it's more likely to be an entirely different story set in the same universe, similar to Crusade
        • by LihTox (754597)

          Agreed; why would JMS spend his own money to redo something he's already done?

          So while everybody here is talking about B5, we really should be talking about those subsequent series/movies and how they measure up.

    • by lgw (121541)

      Maybe they could get around to putting the series up on Netflix

      All the discs are available, last I looked. I don't know why you'd look for anything on the vast wasteland that is Netflix streaming - there's nothing there but tumbleweeds and Netflix-original stuff.

  • The whole point behind babylon 5 was the huge story arcs...two great ones. I will watch the movie...but I don't care like I would about a series. Its a shame too as there is not many "in space" series at the moment.

    • by lgw (121541) on Sunday August 10, 2014 @12:22PM (#47642481) Journal

      It was also very dependent on the cast. It takes a lot for the audience to relate to guys in alien costumes, even SF nerds like me. I'm doubtful the magic will happen again.

      Wow, a lot of the cast died so young - Jeff Conaway to drugs, Andreas Katsulas to smoking, Richard Biggs at 44 to a heart condition. Good to see Stephen Furst still going (aside from playing my favorite character on B5, he successfully changed his dangerous lifestyle during the B5 years, losing almost 100 pounds).

      But whatever else goes wrong, at least the fighters "in space" won't fly like jets. Did any other SF TV series or movie get that right? The space battles are still cool to watch, aging effects and all, just because it makes some physical sense.

      • BSG is the only other series that comes close with the physically accurate dogfighting. The Vipers are still *designed* like jets, but they don't fly like them.
        • There's a reason for that too though, since they explicitly deploy and fly Viper's in the atmosphere several times during the run of the show. So they'd have to be at least aerodynamic enough for that (they also imply that atmosphere use uses way more fuel then space combat, relatively).

    • by nabsltd (1313397)

      The whole point behind babylon 5 was the huge story arcs...two great ones. I will watch the movie...but I don't care like I would about a series.

      Perhaps a B5 movie could be a launch for a B5 multimedia universe like the Marvel Universe. The tie-in between the theatrical movies and the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. TV show is excellent.

      Sci-Fi, fantasy, and comic book are excellent genres for a character-driven TV series with tie-in theatrical movies for the big events that need that kind of FX budget. Even some action/adventure could benefit from this. Imagine a "James Bond universe" where the TV series doesn't have Bond in it very much at all. It could

  • This was the best series on TV. And best of all, of you watch on DVD, you see the hints and snippets that point to later plot threads. I cannot count the many times I realized the current plot started 3 episodes ago, but now is the main action. And best of all, this was the first series to kill off 'major' characters, after three of four episodes to get you familiar with the poor lamb. Now common, this was the first with the guts to start. Oh, and the strong women (I found my own Ivanova!!)
    • "And best of all, this was the first series to kill off 'major' characters"

      That's not true. Off the top of my head, MASH killed Henry Blake, and that was probably the first time a major character was killed off in a major series (other than a cast member dying). It was much more sporadic before the 90s, but it did happen.

      • by nabsltd (1313397)

        That's not true. Off the top of my head, MASH killed Henry Blake, and that was probably the first time a major character was killed off in a major series (other than a cast member dying).

        In the case of McLean Stevenson, he quit the show, and instead of just writing his character out, they killed him. This is no different from any other show where the actor's off-screen circumstances (death, etc.) caused the show to have to write around it.

        On B5, however, characters that you grew to love (like Marcus) were "dead men walking" from the first second they appeared on screen, because that's what JMS had already written. AFAIK, B5 really was the first to kill off characters as part of the planne

    • This was the best series on TV.

      The more you like a show, the more you should hope no one decides to revive it.

  • by dicobalt (1536225) on Sunday August 10, 2014 @10:59AM (#47642083)
    This series deserves a reboot and maybe even more seasons, let's go Doctor Who on this thing.
  • What's a reboot? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by frovingslosh (582462) on Sunday August 10, 2014 @11:09AM (#47642131)

    I loved B5. I hate reboots, at least as I understand the word. I have no problem with replacing the actors. That happens frequently in movie franchises. James Bond has been played by a number of actors, and even the gender of a major supporting character was changed in that franchise without calling it a reboot. In my mind a reboot is when the producers and/or director want to take advantage of the name and existing fan base, but decide to do two other distasteful things: First, change key story concepts that have already been established, and second, they usually want to retell yet another origin story. Why is this being called a reboot, and is JMS calling it a reboot himself or are others just misusing the term? I'll gladly go see a new B5 movie (and I really don't go to many movies), but I'll avoid a B5 reboot like I would avoid an Ebola infected missionary. If JMS wants to tell a completely different Sci-fi story then I would welcome that too, but he should not reuse the B5 name, If he wants to pick back up story telling in the B5 universe then he shouldn't try to tear down what has already been done.

    On a side note, the list of lost actors from the B5 production should include Tim Choate who played my favorite character, Zathras.

    • Re:What's a reboot? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Snard (61584) <.moc.liamg. .ta. .kulawahs.ekim.> on Sunday August 10, 2014 @11:30AM (#47642251) Homepage

      I would say that "reboot" can mean different things, in much the same way that "Zathras" can refer to more than one individual, depending on how you pronounce it :) There is the one you describe (change the story line / concepts), but I think it's also possible to simply retell the story, or perhaps tell "more of the story" (i.e. start a bit earlier in the arc, or give additional background). Our technology has changed a bit since 1994 (I mean, gad, we were still running Windows for Workgroups back then!) so it makes sense that we can better imagine the future from this perspective. I respect JMS and believe he would not tamper with the core precepts in the series. And while there are lots of faithful fans who remember the original series, there is also a huge audience of people who aren't familiar with the original series & would enjoy an excellent space opera.

    • by GNious (953874) on Sunday August 10, 2014 @11:32AM (#47642253)

      I heard they wanted to do a reboot of Star Trek, which I guess could be interesting ... I mean, it's been 12 years since a Star Trek movie was last released.

      • by msk (6205)

        True, and it looks like we'll never have another Star Wars movie.

        • True, and it looks like we'll never have another Star Wars movie.

          Probably you whooshed me, but Disney bought rights in 2012 and has the first of a sequel trilogy in production and scheduled for release next year.

          (Then we'll probably get presequels...)

          • by msk (6205)

            *Whoosh*

            There hasn't been a Star Trek movie in twelve years. There won't be another Star Wars movie as long as J.J. Abrams is attached to it. He should stick to the (mediocre) things he does best.

        • by Artifakt (700173)

          True, and it looks like we'll never have another Star Wars movie.

          Weren't three enough?

      • I heard they wanted to do a reboot of Star Trek, which I guess could be interesting ... I mean, it's been 12 years since a Star Trek movie was last released.

        I know this is heresy but I liked B5 better than most of the Star Wars and Start Trek stuff.

        • I know this is heresy but I liked B5 better than most of the Star Wars and Start Trek stuff.

          I officially sanction your position. It is not heresy, it's truth. There is certainly Star Trek which is better than anything in B5, but "most" of Star Trek is far inferior.

          • I know this is heresy but I liked B5 better than most of the Star Wars and Start Trek stuff.

            I officially sanction your position. It is not heresy, it's truth. There is certainly Star Trek which is better than anything in B5, but "most" of Star Trek is far inferior.

            What I liked about the B5 series was mostly the fact that it had Maciavellian politics and space battles where the fighters didn't fly like aircraft even though they were located in deep space. They made an honest attempt to respect Newtonian physics. I went off the Star Wars series after the "Battle of the Teddy Bears" in Return of the Jedi although I rather like the animated "Clone Wars" series. I never really watched much of the original Star Trek and the Star Trek NG series just bored me out of my scull

            • What I liked about the B5 series was mostly the fact that it had Maciavellian politics and space battles where the fighters didn't fly like aircraft even though they were located in deep space.

              Star Trek movies have always been about space battles and ridiculous action, even though people like to blame JJ Abrams for that one. That said, there are quite a few Star Trek episodes that do a good job of dealing with a social issue and/or politics in an interesting way.

              I went off the Star Wars series after the "Battle of the Teddy Bears" in Return of the Jedi although I rather like the animated "Clone Wars" series.

              For really good Star Wars, you have to go to the books. The same expanded universe that Disney announced is no longer cannon so they can "free up" their screenwriters or some other bullshit. Well, as far as I'm concerned, if I have to

    • by WCLPeter (202497)

      On a side note, the list of lost actors from the B5 production should include Tim Choate who played my favorite character, Zathras.

      One of the problems with trying use the original actors in the film is that a significantly large number of them, including Tim Choate [wikipedia.org], are dead. Though I do agree with you, Zathras was one of my favourites too.

      I'm shocked really at how many are gone - since I have fond memories of the show its really hard to think that 20 years is all that long ago but I was watching a video o

    • Here is an interesting example. Macross the anime series and Macross the movie (DYRL). The movie differs a lot from the series, the explanation is that it is a movie in-universe loosely based on what happened during the human-Zentraedi war.

      This could be something similar. An in-universe movie about what happened 2258-2261.

    • by glwtta (532858)

      Tim Choate who played my favorite character, Zathras

      Don't forget he also played my favorite character: Zathras.

    • by quantaman (517394)

      I loved B5. I hate reboots, at least as I understand the word. I have no problem with replacing the actors. That happens frequently in movie franchises. James Bond has been played by a number of actors, and even the gender of a major supporting character was changed in that franchise without calling it a reboot. In my mind a reboot is when the producers and/or director want to take advantage of the name and existing fan base, but decide to do two other distasteful things: First, change key story concepts that have already been established, and second, they usually want to retell yet another origin story. Why is this being called a reboot, and is JMS calling it a reboot himself or are others just misusing the term? I'll gladly go see a new B5 movie (and I really don't go to many movies), but I'll avoid a B5 reboot like I would avoid an Ebola infected missionary. If JMS wants to tell a completely different Sci-fi story then I would welcome that too, but he should not reuse the B5 name, If he wants to pick back up story telling in the B5 universe then he shouldn't try to tear down what has already been done.

      On a side note, the list of lost actors from the B5 production should include Tim Choate who played my favorite character, Zathras.

      I'm not opposed to the idea, but it's important to remember that it's no guarantee of success. Consider all the elements that can cause a TV show to fail, cast, characters, writing, concept, plots, etc. With the reboot you're starting out on familiar ground so you avoid a lot of potential pitfalls, but you still have a big risk of making a dud.

      The original B5 was great, but to be honest it's not doing anything anymore. The people who watched it have already extracted all of the joy they can, and the small m

  • by future assassin (639396) on Sunday August 10, 2014 @11:23AM (#47642217) Homepage

    please dont reboot!!!! A continuation of the world but no fucking reboot.

  • by westlake (615356) on Sunday August 10, 2014 @11:25AM (#47642225)

    "Guardians of the Galaxy" was not a sequel or a reboot.

    It suggests as well that audiences have grown more than a little weary of "dark" sci-fi and fantasy.

    As much as I admire B5, I think its time may have passed.

    • by Wraithlyn (133796)

      B5 was full of lighthearted moments and humour (admittedly less so towards the end). Thinking about Londo going "but in purple... I'm STUNNING" still cracks me up just thinking about it. Or G'Kar getting drunk with the grail seeker "They made a very satisfying.. THUMP when they hit the ground". Lennier and Vir commiserating, "they never listen...". Or Sheridan's terrible jokes.. "Kosh who?" / "Gseundheit!". I could go on all day. :)

      Sure there was a serious, epic plot underlying it all.. but you can sa

    • by Artifakt (700173)

      I hope audiences are not too tired of "dark", because Guardians set audiences up for one of Marvel's darkest ever story lines. "Darker" than the "Dark Phoenix Saga"? Try darker than 14 year old Kitty Pride with inoperable ovarian cancer.

      Warning - Spoiler below, but about an old comics series, not about this movie

      Jim Starlin loves to draw comics where Death is the punch line. In the Star Reach underground line, he wrote a story titled "The Birth of Death", and one called "Death Building", Marvel gave Starl

  • It would be nice to see some new episodes of that.

  • Seasons 1-4....awesome. Season 5...not so much. The movies...didn't even watch them.
  • If Kickstarter worked from Veroncia Mars, then I don't see why it wouldn't work for B5.

    I'd pay the cost of a DVD/Blu-ray if fund it, it I could get a disc as a reward.

  • by tverbeek (457094) on Sunday August 10, 2014 @12:00PM (#47642391) Homepage

    So JMS wants to take a story originally told in over 4700 minutes, and condense it down into a 120-minute feature film (or is he thinking a series of five of them)? What could possibly go wrong?

    Seriously, one of the things that makes B5 a classic of the genre was the way it gradually unfolded an epic tale over the course of five years. Sure, there were a lot of B sub plots and C plot-of-the-week elements that didn't contribute directly to that overall storyline, but they provided the texture that made the A plot matter. For example, the viewers cared about the fate of the Centauri because they'd come to know (and seen the transformation of) Londo and Vir; without that, they're just a bunch of space vampires. To be honest, I'm not really a big fan of the soap-opera approach to storytelling that's become fashionable in hour-long TV dramas and monthly superhero comics... but B5 was a rare example of how it works. Without that format, without that scope, it would become just the Reader's Digest edit of The Lord of the Rings in Space.

    • by Artifakt (700173)

      Space Vampires? They're Space Romans, not really even Space Romanians or Space Transylvanians...

  • by 0123456 (636235) on Sunday August 10, 2014 @12:12PM (#47642441)

    J.J. Abrams is signed to direct. He's never seen a single episode of the TV show, but he's sure that, if he uses enough lens flare and explosions, no-one will ever notice.

  • Yes, I enjoyed Babylon 5, but then stuff like Crusade, the Ranger movie, and that "Lost Tales" compilation happened. I'll probably put this new movie in my Netflix queue, but I won't be running out to buy a theater ticket or anything.
  • by fahrbot-bot (874524) on Sunday August 10, 2014 @01:10PM (#47642743)

    Speaking of Babylon, I wouldn't mind seeing a movie of Roadmarks [wikipedia.org]. In the mean time, perhaps I'll dig the book out of the closet and re-read it...

  • Hopefully he will do the job in more than one movie. Say, one movie leading up to the Shadow War, then another movie that is the Shadow War, and then a third movie showcasing the results after the Shadow War.
  • by Princeofcups (150855) <john@princeofcups.com> on Sunday August 10, 2014 @01:50PM (#47642929) Homepage

    Any word on the proposed Blake's 7 movie? That one show that deserves a resurrection.

  • by rossdee (243626)

    Sure B5 was the best SF TV series ever, but it doesn't nrrd a reboot
    You couldn't fit the complex story arc into one movie anyway

    Can't he write some other story set in the B5 universe, with new characters

    If its just about money, maybe we could pay him not to do a reboot.

  • Forget B5, reboot Captain Power.

Statistics are no substitute for judgement. -- Henry Clay

Working...