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The Future Of Babylon 5: J. Michael Straczynski (JMS)

July 14, 2008

TLT was commissioned at a $2 million budget to, yet one more time,
“test the waters” for B5. We did what we could with that, and that
was that. As we did with Rangers, which also suffered from not having
a lot of money because of concerns about “is there really a B5
audience?” Which is, of course, a foolish question from a studio that
has never really understood what it has in B5.Of late, there have been more discussions from WB about doing more
DVDs, again at a low cost, or a cable thing, again with minimal
investment.

So for the last few months, I’ve been giving this whole subject a lot
of quiet thought. And I’ve come to a conclusion.

B5 as a five year story stands beautifully on its own. If anything
else is to be continued from that story, it should be something that
adds to the legacy of B5, rather than subtracts from it.

As well intentioned as Rangers and TLT were, as enticing as it was to
return to those familiar waters, in the end I think they did more to
subtract from the legacy than add to it. I don’t regret having made
them, because I needed to go through that to get to the point where I
am now psychologically, but from where I sit now, I wouldn’t make them
again.

So I’ve let everyone up here know that I’m not interested in doing any
more low-budget DVDs. I’m not interested in doing any low-budget
cable things or small computer games. The only thing I would be
interested in doing regarding Babylon 5 from this point on is a full-
featured, big-budget feature film.

It’s that or nothing.

And if it’s nothing, I’m totally cool with that because the original
story stands on its own just fine. I’m not lobbying for it, I’m not
asking fans to write in about it (nor should you) because such
campaigns never really have much impact…that’s simply the position
I’ve taken up here. Lord knows I don’t lack for other things to do
these days. I’m busier on more prestige projects with terrific people
and great film-makers than at any other time in my career.

At the end of the day, for me, it’s not just a matter of getting more
B5. It’s a matter of getting more *good* B5 that respects what came
before it and doesn’t have to compromise visually or in terms of
action. The original show deserves better than that, the surviving
cast members deserve better than that, and the fans who have supported
it over the years definitely deserve better than that. A lot better.

So I’ve drawn that line in the sand, and I’m happy living on whichever
side of that line the universe puts me. Just thought you should know,
’cause it’s your show too.

jms

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