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Any chance of a Babylon 5 DTV???


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#1 of 85 OFFLINE   todd s

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Posted July 13 2006 - 04:09 AM

I am directing this at our resident B5 expert...Joseph DeMartino. I wonder if their is any chance that Warner may release another B5 movie as a direct to video? I wouldn't even mind an animated version. Although, with the untimely deaths of Andreas Katsulas and Richard Biggs. It might not be possible.
Bring back John Doe! Or at least resolve the cliff-hanger with a 2hr movie or as an extra on a dvd release.

#2 of 85 OFFLINE   Dave Scarpa

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Posted July 13 2006 - 07:54 AM

I think the chances of another B5 project took a hge Nosedive with Biggs Death, and now with Katsulas I highly doubt it. I mean I can see another series ala Crusade in the B5 universe, but really the Story of B5 is over and I'm happy where it left off I don't really need anymore and I'm overjoyed with what I got.

In fact I've been given thought to starting to rewatch the series again, I think I've viewed them about 4 times thru, but after waiting a bit I'm juiced to watch them again. Especially now that I have a new Hi Def TV.
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#3 of 85 OFFLINE   George_W_K

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Posted July 13 2006 - 08:38 AM

I agree with Dave that I'd rather not see any more in the Story of B5 with the loss of G'Kar and Dr. Franklin. I don't think any story could be the same, especially without the G'Kar and Londo relationship. I'm mostly satisfied with the way B5 ended its run, though I really missed Ivanova in season 5. I wish I could go back in time and let everyone know that there would be a season 5 so we could see how it should've turned out.

That said, if there ever is something new, I'll still be there!

#4 of 85 OFFLINE   NeilO

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Posted July 15 2006 - 07:49 AM

Still, there is that hint on page 13 of Volume 8 of the script books ....

"in a meeting called by WB to discuss several options on the table about ways to bring back Babylon 5, (As a rule, after B5 finished its run, they called these meetings usually about once every six months. Usually nothing came of it ... though there may be something of interest from this one to convey in volume nine.)"

So, perhaps in the next few weeks we might hear what JMS was hinting about here.

Neil

#5 of 85 OFFLINE   Joseph DeMartino

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Posted July 23 2006 - 01:40 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by NeilO
So, perhaps in the next few weeks we might hear what JMS was hinting about here.

Ask and ye shall receive. Didn't think we really needed a second thread on this one anymore. Posted Image

Regards,

Joe

#6 of 85 OFFLINE   Sam Favate

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Posted July 23 2006 - 11:27 PM

This is, of course, very good news, especially the creative freedom JMS has been promised. These things have a habit, though, of not ending up as anticipated (just look at the B5 movie). But I will say that this sounds more promising than most of the other projects that have been rumored at one time or another.

#7 of 85 OFFLINE   Joseph DeMartino

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Posted July 23 2006 - 11:51 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Favate
These things have a habit, though, of not ending up as anticipated (just look at the B5 movie).

The proposed feature film didn't come off because the independent producers couldn't raise the cash. Warner Bros. wasn't involved in the project because a peculiarity of the original B5 deal gave JMS the feature rights to the property. When WB was approached for a financing and distribution deal they wanted final say on casting and to replace some of the series actors with "name" stars - which would have pushed up the production costs and destroyed one of JMS's intentions in making the film - which was to reward the cast with the kind of money and exposure that only a feature film offers.

B5: The Lost Tales is a WB project from beginning to end. They approached JMS - and originally approached himi about doing a feature film, as a matter of fact. He turned that down because he isn't ready to try to tackle something on that scale in the wake of the recent death of Andreas Katsulsas.

So he suggested Lost Tales and WB said "Yes". The project is a "go". The studio has given the greenlight, the budget is set, they're booking studio space in Vancouver and contacting actors via their agents. Shooting starts in September. The only question now is whether this will be strictly direct-to-DVD or whether a network will air the material first. (And a network is interested.)

Either way the project is going forward for at least the first batch of three stories, so this couldn't be further from the situation with The Memory of Shadows.

Regards,

Joe

#8 of 85 OFFLINE   Sam Favate

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Posted July 23 2006 - 11:54 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joseph DeMartino
Either way the project is going forward for at least the first batch of three stories, so this couldn't be further from the situation with The Memory of Shadows.

Well, that's very good news. Thanks for the updates, Joe. Sounds like the ingredients are all there for B5 to be great again. It's about time a new project was green lit, especially in light of the success of the B5 DVDs.

#9 of 85 OFFLINE   Joseph DeMartino

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Posted July 23 2006 - 11:57 PM

Or better still, from the Man himself, via Usenet:

Quote:
To the other questions that have arisen: we're looking at 3 half-hour episodes/stories for the first DVD, with additional features and the like in the other half hour. Each story will be worked around a given established character, the specifics of which are still TBD contingent upon availabilities and other issues.


We have a budget, we're greenlit, we're going.


As for what prompted the interest now at WB...it's only recently that they've finally run through all 5 seasons, which for many years now has been a constant source of revenue, and I think they would love to have something to continue to with. The recent news re: Changeling probably didn't hurt, but the deal was actually being negotiated long before there *was* a feature film deal with Imagine. As I recall, we finalized the deal right around the time that the Imagine news was announced.

It was a rather extraordinary 24 hours.

I held off saying anything until I was cleared by WB to announce it as a go project. Ultimately, whether we shoot in Vancouver or elsewhere will be a function of the deal that gets made locally.


#10 of 85 OFFLINE   todd s

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Posted July 24 2006 - 03:10 AM

I hope one of the stories deals with Garibaldi (Jerry Doyle). He was one of my favorite characters. And I heard was one of the biggest proponents of bringing the show back.

Also, I hope they touch on the often-spoken about Telepath War.
Bring back John Doe! Or at least resolve the cliff-hanger with a 2hr movie or as an extra on a dvd release.

#11 of 85 OFFLINE   Joseph DeMartino

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Posted July 24 2006 - 03:44 AM

Garibaldi, Sheridan and Delenn were characters mentioned as being possible candidates for the first batch of episodes. (Subject to actor availability and negotiations.)

I don't see a half hour anthology series as being the best venue for handling the Telepath War, which I still think JMS is saving for a big budget feature film over which he can exercise substantial artistic control. The Lost Tales may be a way to keep the franchise alive and fresh for a couple of years while JMS copes with the recent loss of friends and colleagues and works out what a feature film might look like with out them. Directing the episodes himself adds to his resume and experience in the director's chair (so far limited to a single episode of Babylon 5 as far as I know.) Since we all know features are a director's medium, proving himself as a director on a bunch of Lost Tales segments would give him a much better shot of eventually directing not only a B5 feature, but original screenplays down the road.

Regards,

Joe

#12 of 85 OFFLINE   Andy_Bu

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Posted July 24 2006 - 04:54 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by todd s
I hope one of the stories deals with Garibaldi (Jerry Doyle). He was one of my favorite characters. And I heard was one of the biggest proponents of bringing the show back.

I agree, although he is going to take some serious makeup to look young again. Of all the B5 actors, he seems to have changed the most over the last decade.

Maybe they will use some of the technology used in the last X-Men movie to make Stewart and McKellen look younger Posted Image

Andy

#13 of 85 OFFLINE   Joseph DeMartino

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Posted July 24 2006 - 05:12 AM

Quote:
I agree, although he is going to take some serious makeup to look young again. Of all the B5 actors, he seems to have changed the most over the last decade.

That all depends on when the stories are set, doesn't it? They needn't all (or even mostly) fall within the five year arc of the series.

Regards,

Joe

#14 of 85 OFFLINE   todd s

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Posted July 24 2006 - 05:38 AM

While I am not too familiar with the story behind the Telepath war. At least, I believe, its a story that didn't need to have G'kar or Dr.Franklin in it. Posted Image
Bring back John Doe! Or at least resolve the cliff-hanger with a 2hr movie or as an extra on a dvd release.

#15 of 85 OFFLINE   Rick P

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Posted July 24 2006 - 05:49 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by todd s
Also, I hope they touch on the often-spoken about Telepath War.
If so, it will only be in passing and on the egdes.. with the loss of Andreas, that story will never be told in full.

#16 of 85 OFFLINE   Joseph DeMartino

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Posted July 24 2006 - 06:06 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by todd s
While I am not too familiar with the story behind the Telepath war. At least, I believe, its a story that didn't need to have G'kar or Dr.Franklin in it. Posted Image


That depends.

1) As JMS has plotted the story out in his mind I'm sure he included all the regular characters so as to give them maximum screen time consistent with the story. The whole idea of the eventual theatrical film was to reward the cast for all their hard work on the series, for which JMS never felt he was able to fairly compensate them within the budget.

2) The war breaks out shortly after G'Kar and Lyta return from their self-imposed exile after two years spent exploring the outer-limits of known space together. G'Kar spent much of that time trying to get Lyta to see past her rage and her need for revenge, and to embrace the ways of peace as he had. Even if he and Lyta part ways upon their return, G'Kar would be an important thematic bookend to Lyta, and he would almost certainly do everything he could to head off the war via the Interstellar Alliance, and to end it once it began. So JMS could well have planned a major role for him, even though at first blush he might not seem central to a war among Human Telepaths.

Quote:
...with the loss of Andreas, that story will never be told in full.

Conversely there is no reason that G'Kar would be necessary to the story, since presumably he would be advising the IA, not fighting at Lyta's side. So there are certainly ways of telling the story without him. (Or with G'Kar appearing only in flashbacks or conversations recalled by others using existing footage and voice recordings.) There's no reason a Teep War film would have to start with G'Kar and Lyta arriving at B5 after their trip. The story could start a year into the war and only show us the final battles.

3) Franklin also has strong ties to the Teep arc, through his role in the telepath underground, his work with the implanted "teepsicles" during the Shadow War and his friendship with Ivanova. Not to mention his friendship with Michael Garibaldi, who assembled, financed and helped train Lyta's rogue teep army and who lives on Mars - which also happens to be Psi Corps's main base of operations. Garibaldi would be hip-deep in the conflict, especially given his feelings for Bester, and Franklin would likely do whatever he could to help his friend. So Franklin could also plausibly have been planned for a major role in the story.

4) Although it seems to begin as a purely Human-to-Human matter between Lyta's rogue Teeps and the Psi Corps, the war becomes more complicated. At some point Psi Corps goes to far in its dealings with the Blips and Earthgov itself tries to reign the agency in by force, leading to at three side struggle. Then somehow (possibly through Lyta's off-world refuges, possibly through Psi Corps secret ships and bases outside Earth space) the conflict spills beyond Earth controlled space. At this point the Interstellar Alliance, which had previously been bound by its charter not to interfere in the internal affairs of member states, would be able to intervene. We know from Bester's comments in Fiona Avery's unfilmed Crusade script and from the Psi Corps trilogy that Bester personally blamed John Sheridan for the IA intervention that led to Psi Corps' defeat in the war. And that's enough to bring in the rest of the cast including Captain Lochley.

Regards,

Joe
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#17 of 85 OFFLINE   Andy_Bu

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Posted July 24 2006 - 08:01 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joseph DeMartino
That all depends on when the stories are set, doesn't it?

Yes of course, that goes with out saying.

The following statement made me think it was stories during the 5 year arc but obviously YMMV.

"This will be “Babylon 5 – The Lost Tales’, a lot of small stories that never made it into the series that he’s rediscovered notes for."


when I read "never made it into the series", my brain locks on the 5 year arc but obviously it could still be outside of that.

Andy

#18 of 85 OFFLINE   Joseph DeMartino

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Posted July 24 2006 - 08:25 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy_Bu
when I read "never made it into the series", my brain locks on the 5 year arc but obviously it could still be outside of that.

I know what you mean, but think about it - thanks to "War Without End" and "The Deconstruction of Falling Stars" the events depicted "within the series" extend from a thousand years in the past to a million years in the future. Posted Image And with flashforwards and the like there are many stories JMS might have considered doing during the five year arc that would still fall outside the 2258-2262 window, at least in part.

Regards,

Joe

#19 of 85 OFFLINE   Joseph DeMartino

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Posted January 02 2007 - 06:52 AM

I've been very remiss about updating this thread, must have lost track of it. Anway...

Shooting wrapped on the first disc towards the end of November, and the project is in post. Here's JMS's last update from the moderated newsgroup, dated December 30th:

Quote:
> Hi JMS,

> I was just thinking, we hadn't heard anything for a while about 'The
> Lost Tales' (like when we can buy it!).


> As it is just about new year, can you tell us anything?



Not much to say at the moment. The studios shut down two weeks ago, everybody's on hiatus. The post production process continues apace, with animatics having come down before the break for approval so they
can start the heavy rendering. I came up with an opening set-piece
which is now being storyboarded out, and we have someone now designing a new title sequence as well. We'll just keep doing this until February/March, when we do the final mix, with the release date slated for the week of July 27th.

jms

Note that Friday July 27th is the first day of the San Diego Comic Con, the same convention where JMS announced the Lost Tales project this past summer and an increasingly important launch venue for the Hollywood studios, PC and console game makers and consumer electronics companies to try to generate "buzz" among the cross-section of SF fans, gamers, comic book freaks and all-around geeks who converge on Comic Con annually.

No word on when WB will make a decision about disc 2. Might be after they see sales figures on the first one, might be after they see the pre-orders from sites like Amazon, or they could make a TV deal based on the first disc's content that would lead to starting production on the next batch of stories sooner. It is just too soon to tell.

Regards,

Joe



#20 of 85 OFFLINE   MatthewLouwrens

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Posted January 02 2007 - 08:58 AM

Thanks for the update. One year from announcement to release - not bad.
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