Babylon 5 movie officially dead

Discussion in 'Movies' started by David Forbes, Feb 26, 2005.

  1. David Forbes

    David Forbes Supporting Actor

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    From JMS:

    Offically dead 26 Feb 2005

    "I'm putting this here because the new message threader I sent eaerlier is taking a while to move through the system. So this info will repeat soonish on another subject.

    jms

    -----------------------------------------------

    The rule of thumb in Hollywood is that for every thousand scripts that get written, only a few dozen get into development, and out of those, only one will ever get made...if that.

    A little over a year ago, I was approached by a company that wanted to make a Babylon 5 movie. They optioned the rights, and commissioned a script. (It's worth mentioning that I, not WB, own the rights to a B5 movie. When we were negotiating the original B5 deal -- by whose terms I will never see a dime in profit -- the one thing they did let me have were the movie rights, figuring they'd never be worth anything in the long run.)

    Anyway...on December 27th of 2003, the script for "The Memory of Shadows" was turned in, and the process began of trying to make the deal work with all the various forces involved. It is, to say the least, a very difficult process on any movie where the studio does not directly take the financial reins. In terms of B5, Warner's position was esssentially, "We only do big-budget movies with big names, so you're on your own." If there were big-name movie actors in the film, they'd get behind it; without that, things become very problematic, especially as far as the financing was concerned. You much have to put together a consortium of international interests and business plans rivaled in complexity only by the Allied invasion of Normandy Beach.

    Nonetheless, every attempt was made by the people involved to get this deal in place. This was not being done by Doug or myself, but rather by the company/individuals who approached us and optioned the rights. At times, it seemed we were inches away from a deal...stages were reserved at Elstree, actors were contacted, a director was in place,
    the script went through many revisions, a few key staff were hired, again not by me...it was really a year-long roller coaster ride. During that time, the people involved, with every good intention, tried very hard to pull the necessary pieces together on the deal. The option expired in late December 2004, but I renewed it without cost, to give those involved more time to try and make things work.

    In the end, however, the deal could not be put together, and it did not look as if that was going to change at any point in the foreseeable future. So the option has reverted, and to all intents and purposes, the project has dead ended. Nor do I think this particular incarnation will arise again at any point in the future, though prognostication has always been a tricky art, especially if you have to do it without the benefit of hindsight.

    This was not the first time someone's taken a run at a B5 feature film, and it will not be the last. Eventually it will happen, because such things are simply inevitable. If they can do a Brady Bunch movie, you can be sure that sooner or later, somebody's going to do a B5 movie. The only thing I can say without equivocation is that when that day
    comes, as the rights-holder, I will make darned sure that it's done right, because I'd rather have no B5 movie than one that doesn't live up to what fans and I myself would want to see.

    To that end...I can wait.

    Anyway, just thought you should know the story.

    jms

    copyright (c) 2005 by
    Synthetic Worlds, Ltd.
    Reprint permission specifically
    denied to SFX Magazine
    "

    --------------------
     
  2. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    Bummer.
     
  3. Qui-Gon John

    Qui-Gon John Producer

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    Well, as much as I'd like to see a B5 movie, better this than making one with different actors playing the main characters, as was talked about.
     
  4. Holadem

    Holadem Lead Actor

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    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    --
    H
     
  5. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

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    The news is sad, but it could have been worse. Better no film than one that neither JMS nor the fans would have liked. Which was certainly possible. In a way I'm glad that the news at least is now public. I found out that the project was dead a few weeks ago but was not at liberty to comment on the fact.

    One odd fact that emerged from all this is that JMS, not Warner Bros., owns the movie rights to Babylon 5. Back when they were making their deals in the late 1980s and early 90s WB didn't think there could ever be a market for such a thing, so they let JMS "win" on that point. That explains why WB itself has been so cool to the whole concept, and also why it has been so hard to put together an production deal outside the studio. But if a B5 movie ever happens, WB's decision to give up the movie rights could end up looking almost as foolish as Fox's decision to give George Lucas the "worthless" merchandising rights to a little flick called Star Wars. [​IMG]

    Regards,

    Joe
     
  6. Laura Nicholson

    Laura Nicholson Stunt Coordinator

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    Are you sure you're not JMS? [​IMG]
     
  7. Holadem

    Holadem Lead Actor

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    I have wondered the same, many many times....

    Heck, we have 1/3rd of the evidence, his first name.

    --
    H
     
  8. MatthewLouwrens

    MatthewLouwrens Producer

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    Also sad, but hopefully one of these days...
     
  9. Sam Favate

    Sam Favate Producer

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    The news is really pretty upsetting, but we're fortunate to have someone like JMS protecting the series, instead of it being owned by a studio that will just use the brand name and put out crappy movies under its banner.

    I remember how, 30 years ago, Star Trek had a few false starts on its way to the big screen.
     
  10. Mikel_Cooperman

    Mikel_Cooperman Producer

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    Booo.
    So they can make Serenity but not this?
    Good ol' Hollywood.
     
  11. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Executive Producer

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    That seems unnecessary.
     
  12. Tony Whalen

    Tony Whalen Producer

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    Damn. Sad to hear this.
     
  13. Kevin Hewell

    Kevin Hewell Cinematographer

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    No need to bash "Firefly" just because you're disappointed. I, for one, am glad at least that is getting made.
     
  14. DaveGTP

    DaveGTP Cinematographer

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    Better no B5 movie than one on par with the Star Trek movies these days, or most science fiction that hits the big screen for that matter.

    Good to hear JMS has the movie rights.

    I'm still waiting for more B5 of some sort. The best damn scifi to ever air IMO. I am sick of the dreck they label as "sci-fi" in recent years - it's just the old blow stuff up action film in sci-fi trappings. Here's to hoping for the future.
     
  15. Rex Bachmann

    Rex Bachmann Screenwriter

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    Joe DeMartino wrote (post #206):



    I've thought long and hard about how the "geniuses" at Warner Brothers would have cast the aborted movie if they had had their way. After several years' cogitation on the matter, herewith my candidates for the Warner Brothers big-bugedted Babylon 5 theatrical "dream team" (read it and weep---or gag---, as the mood strikes you):


    1. Tom Cruise (in lifts) as John Sheridan: (flashes pearly whites) "As L. Ron used to say, 'never start a scam unless you intend to close the deal'." (jumps up and down) "YAHOO! YAHOO! YAHOO! I love my wife!!!"
    2. Nicole Kidman as Ambassador Delenn: "We a' the universe trying to understand itself . . . and---and . . . dianetics!"
    3. Bruce Willis as Michael Garibaldi: "I don't trust no stinkin' telepaths! Yipee ki-yay, hover muckers!"
    4. Jennifer Garner/Jessica Alba (same difference) as Susan Ivanova/Elizabeth Lochley (same difference): "God sent me, FER SHER!"
    5. Martin Lawrence as Dr. Stephen Franklin: (eye bulges, eye rolls, nostril flares) "Wha'z up! Wha'z up! Wha'z UP, Cap’n?"
    6. Jude Law as Marcus Cole "We soooo live for the one . . . We sooooo die for the one! Ah, hell, Have sex with me, baby! I'm a ho'ny vi'gin! [ugh!]" (keels over, his false beard falling away, as he's kneed in groin by an outraged chick)
    7. Kathy Griffin as Lyta Alexander: "I am, like, soooo tired of, like, being, like, uuused!"
    8. Jack Nicholson as Londo Mollari: "Heeeeere's Londo!" "'Vermouth'? You can't handle Vermouth!"
    9. Jack Black as Vir Cotto: "Woah! Rock onnnnn, Shadow-dudes!"
    10. John (ugly-alien-clowns-a-specialty) Leguizamo as Ambassador/Citizen G'Kar: (in full spotted body prosthetics, including false high cheeks and exaggerated chin) (drooling) "When can I have sex with Lyta? When?!? When?!? When?!?"
    11. David Spade as Lennier of the Third Fane of Ch'domo: (mincing around behind Delenn/Kidman in white robes with that constant patented full-nasal titter) "My place is . . . [aaaaa-ha aaaa-ha] . . . [aaaaa-ha aaaa-ha] . . . by your side, Delenn [aaaaa-ha aaaa-ha aaaaa-ha]" ("Yes, by gosh, he's a 'sidler'!")
    12. John Malkovich as Alfred Bester: "Now, Captain, there's no need to get upset. We're all just one big happy family. I feel so at home here. Let's just all sit and have a little porridge."


    Who'd you nominate for Warner's Babylon 5: Memory of Shadows "dream team"? (Remember, it's Hollywood. They're geniuses.)
     
  16. oscar_merkx

    oscar_merkx Lead Actor

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    Any more news ..............
     
  17. Rhatphlegm

    Rhatphlegm Stunt Coordinator

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    I've just recently started watching B5 on HULU. I never kept up with it back when it was on - so it's all new to me. HULU has up through season 2. And now I have season 3 on order so I can watch the rest! I'm hooked! I can see I'll be buying all the seasons and movies eventually. I'm glad it actually made it 5 seasons. Other good SciFi (like Enterprise) never made it that long...
     

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