Babylon 5 (B5) was a television series with well defined characters that developed and grew in a very concise fashion, giving them a depth you don’t get in many series. It happened because J. Michael Straczynski (JMS) had a vision for his work. A five year plan where he had mapped out a definite beginning, middle and end.
The five year ride was a great one and JMS was lucky enough to be able to see it through to its end. Though I did not like it when it ended, I don’t think I’ve ever been more satisfied with a series ending.
Later on, I caught The Legend Of The Rangers, but it just wasn’t the same. It had a bit of depth from the history developed in B5, but it didn’t feel like it extended it. It was just lacking something for me… It didn’t inspire me to look forward to another Babylon 5 installment.
Recently Straczynski noted that if he were to ever do another B5 project, it would only be a big-budget project so he could do it right. Now that is why I would look forward to a potential Babylon 5 movie!
Why did he specify “big-budget project?” Last year J. Michael Straczynski addressed some questions on the potential of any new B5 projects. He said that considering how the more recent B5 projects were done with a low cost approach, he wasn’t too enthused on doing more like that.
He realized that his first efforts at additional B5 projects came from his succumbing to his own desire to keep his Babylon 5 world alive. Once green-lit, he had to work within the constraints of what little money was tossed his way.
After that, he decided that there would be no more low-cost DVD or cable projects. If he was going to move forward on any type of Babylon 5 project, he made it known that it would be a “big-budget feature film.”
He’s putting his foot down, and rightfully so.
As he put it, the five year story arc of Babylon 5 stands up well on its own and if there was going to be any further projects added to the franchise, he would want them to add to the legacy, not take from it.
I can respect that kind of thinking. He doesn’t want to jump any sharks trying to keep something alive. He wants to keep the memory of the project fresh and quality driven. And if you’re going to do something new, it has to resonate with the existing fans, while sparking the imagination of the potential new fans.
Thankfully, his patience might be paying off.
After seeing his work on The Changeling, and with his work on the upcoming Forbidden Planet project, there is suddenly a light at the end of the tunnel of quality story telling. Now Warner Bros is asking JMS about what he meant by “big-budget.”
I can see it now… Toe kicking some dirt, hem-hawing a little bit, the WB rep tries to nonchalantly saunter up to JMS to try and start a conversation that in a stuttering fashion, gets around to his point. Or more to the point, desperately looking for some quality content to create, knowing that there’s already an established fan base, he meekly asks Straczynski how much money he wants. (This was just a daydream segment… not a real event.)
If this portends a future project, this means that Straczynski will be able to stick to his new rule of sequel storytelling which is “Do no harm to the original.” I sure wish more people would adhere to that rule.
I have to wonder how many new faces will be added to the story? How many old faces would come back? Now, like always, we have to wait. Wait and see what comes of this. Everyone, cross your fingers!
Do you think J. Michael Straczynski will get his funds? Can you be patient enough for a Babylon 5 movie to come to a theater near you?