The folks over at Ain’t It Cool News have a report from the B5 panel at the San Diego ComicCon where J. Michael Straczynski announced that he’s been given the green light to bring back Babylon 5 as a video anthology series:
The biggest announcement I’ll paraphrase: Every 6 months, I get together with WB to discuss what to do something with B5. The DVD sales have raised over 500 million in revenue. Now, I produced B5s 110 episodes at about 90 million dollars. Somehow, B5 is still 50 million in the red. Every time I mention that to WB they say We made a good deal, huh? Anyway, they asked if I wanted to do a feature film but I declined mainly because I can’t yet picture structuring a B5 movie as long as [Andreas Katsulas] and [Richard Biggs] insist on staying dead. Maybe in a year or two I’ll be able to but right now I can’t do something big and those two roles will NOT be recast.
So I thought about it, and I suggested a bunch of short films. Little mini-movies or an anthology show set in the Babylon 5 universe. I pick a character and develop an hour-long story around that character. Stories that I wanted to tell during the B5 series but never had the chance to develop. They said, Okay. I said I wanted complete creative control. Do not change my words that I write, and I want that in writing. They said, Okay. And I want to direct. They said, Okay.
This project was green lit less than two weeks ago. Its going to happen. Production starts in September in Vancouver, Canada. Post-production will occur from October to February with a release of the first three anthologies in the second quarter of 2007.
Apparently this is in addition to a number of other high profile projects JMS has underway already including a movie that’ll be directed by Ron Howard with the working title Changling, a 12 episode radio program for the CBC called The Adventures of Apocalypse Al, a pilot for Touchstone Pictures titled Borrowed Lives, a comic book series called Rising Stars being produced by Sam Rami’s production company, two different studios bidding on movie rights to his graphic novel Midnight Nation, the possibility he may be asked to write the script for a movie adaption of his one-shot comic book Dream Police, a new six issue comic book series for Marvel called Bullet Points, and the possibility (he hinted) of B5 being made into a MMORPG.
I am a big B5 fan so word that there’s more coming in addition to the possibility of a major movie based on it in the future and an MMORPG is very good news.