Tag: babylon 5
Overbrook Entertainment, the entertainment company set up by Will Smith and James Lassiter, and Georgiaville Television, which just made news with their Blake’s remake landing at Syfy, are teaming with Babylon 5 creator J. Michael Straczynski on a “pandemic” drama for ABC.
The project doesn’t currently have a title, but is described as a thriller that combines closed-ended procedural and serialized elements.
Lassiter and Jada Pinkett Smith will executive produce for Overbrook, with JMS writing the pilot and executive producing. Georgiaville is financing, and like the Blake’s 7 project, ABC has given this one a script-to-series commitment, which means if ABC likes the script it will be given a 13 episode order immediately.
I was just posting the previous article talking about the new STARZ series that were in development and what JMS has been teasing about for Comic-Con, and Deadline broke this news: he is announcing Studio JMS, a new multi-platform media company to handle all of his output under one roof. JMS develops and writes projects for all sorts of different platforms, including comic books, TV, and movies.
Studio JMS will be co-run by Patricia Tallman, who starred in JMS’s series Babylon 5 as telepath Lyta Alexander among many other acting and stunt roles, and also ran her own business, Talent To Go.
Among the things under development: The Flickering Light, to be directed by JMS, about Nazi propaganda director Leni Reifenstahl and the film she made using concentration camp prisoners; The Adventures Of Apocalypse Al, a web series for MTV.com; Living Dead The Musical, another web series; Epidemic for Overbrook Entertainment; Vlad Dracula for Starz; and a revival of his Joe’s Comics imprint with Image Comics.
Fancy the idea of taking up arms against some of your favorite heroes from SF film and television? Or fancy a blaster fight with a squad of Stormtroopers led by General Motti? (Hey, at least that last one should be easy…we know how well Stormtroopers shoot!)
Well, you might have your chance at Comicpalooza, in Houston May 25-27!
“The next best thing to being a sci-fi or action hero has to be shooting a sci-fi or action hero with a gun. Or maybe being shot by one,” says John Simons, founder and Chairman of Comicpalooza, the Texas International Comic Con. At least that’s the premise that led to the Badass Celebrity Smackdown, in which fans attending Comicpalooza May 25-27 will get their chance to pit themselves against stars of some of the biggest sci-fi and action franchises in Hollywood while helping US veterans at the same time.
I am hearing the sad news from the Star Wars: The Clone Wars cast: Actor Ian Ambercrombie, who was the voice of Chancellor Palpatine/Darth Sidious, passed away yesterday at the age of 77.
Abercrombie was also most recently a recurring character in Disney Channel’s Wizards of Waverly Place as Professor Crumbs, and appeared in the final episode aired a couple of weeks ago. An accomplished stage actor, SF fans may also remember him for his role of Alfred in the short-lived Birds of Prey series, guesting as Correlilmurzon in some memorable comedy moments in the Babylon 5 episode “Acts of Sacrifice”, and the role of Wiseman in Army of Darkness, among other guest spots and smaller roles.
I feel like I’m being teased (I wrote the Babylon 5 Encyclopedia in the 90s as one of my first personal web projects), but Walter Koenig, who played the Psi-Cop Bester on the show (and is better know for his role of Pavel Chekov on the original Star Trek) was at the big Las Vegas Star Trek convention earlier this week, and he told TrekMovie.com that JMS is negotiating the rights back for Babylon 5.
Now, recently JMS posted on Facebook that there were some plans for Babylon 5 with Warner Bros (who own the rights), but that it didn’t seem to be moving. But, “At this point, I’ve told the studio that if this isn’t going to move ahead, there’s something else they need to consider and there’s a very informal negotiation going on now in that regard. We’ll see where it goes from there.” That seems like he might be asking for them to sell the rights to him so that he might be able to take it in a new direction. Seems like an unusual move, but we’re certainly not against more B5 in any form…
Well, JMS tweeted in the wee hours (well, probably late hours for him), and it’s not happening: “Walter misspoke: I am not in negotiations with WB to develop more Babylon 5.” So perhaps the “something else” fell through.
[The following is a submitted article]
On the weekend of August 13 and 14, a new science-fiction event will be splashing down in London, and it will be presided over by Claudia Christian, who starred in “Babylon 5.”
The event will allow fans unrivaled access to all the genre stars that will be attending, many of whom are some of Claudia’s personal friends.
Proceeds from ClaudiaCon will go towards helping out BlESMA, that provides war veterans with prosthetic limbs and Guide Dogs, which provide seeing-eye dogs for the blind. Both of these are UK-based charities.
Found this buried in a discussion on Facebook from JMS himself:
Re: B5…the studio offered a full season of a new and rebooted B5 as part of a new distribution venue they were creating (us and several other shows from the same studio were part of the same deal). We’d have a full season, a big budget, and total creative control. The negotiations (not between us but between the participants of the venue) dragged on for over a year, we were told repeatedly this is going to happen, but finally, the participants couldn’t make the math work. So we and the other three shows that they were hoping to put out there got set aside.
At this point, I’ve told the studio that if this isn’t going to move ahead, there’s something else they need to consider and there’s a very informal negotiation going on now in that regard. We’ll see where it goes from there.
But again, B5 was never created to be a Deep Space Franchise, we wanted to do our 5 years and get out clean. That was my intent going into this, and if that’s where this ends up, I’m happy to stick with that. There are other film and TV projects I’m doing, including a deal we just concluded to write a pilot for Will Smith’s company on a show that’s been pretty much pre-sold for a full season overseas (two bidders want it badly for Europe, and now they’re just looking for a US partner).
So it sounds like we were VERY close to a “new and rebooted B5” (not sure what that meant exactly) via a new distribution venue (also not sure…web-based? iTunes?), but it isn’t happening – but something else could still happen.
Actor Jeff Conaway, who starred in the movie Grease as well as the TV series Taxi and Babylon 5, passed away this morning after his family removed life support yesterday. Conaway, who had long been suffering from drug and alcohol addiction, was placed in a medically induced coma after being found unconscious on May 11th, suffering from pneumonia and sepsis. Early reports blamed a drug overdose, but this was later refuted, although reports still say that his painkiller addiction (exacerbated by both old and more recent injuries) may have contributed to him not getting medical help soon enough.
He was 60 years old.
Bobby Wheeler/Kenickie/Zack Allan, you will be missed.
SFX Magazine in the UK posted the results of a number of polls, including the “Favourite Monsters, Supernatural Beings & Fantasy Creatures” – and the Daleks lead the list of the top 20. Other notable entries include Gollum (5), Babylon 5‘s Shadows (6, not bad for a show nearly 12 years gone…still wish we were getting more), The Borg (11), Pilot from Farscape (12), and the Cybermen (13).
For the old-time Babylon 5 fans on the Internet (especially UseNet), you may remember Elena, who made the “jumpgate” pins based on the ASCII “jumpgate” symbol (<*>) prevalent in the UseNet signatures of fans at the time. They were high quality handmade pins (I still have two of the original black pins, although I managed to break the pin back off on one). I just found out via JMS that she recently found some “missing inventory” after having moved several times, and has all sorts of them for sale again on her home page…and she sure could use your help, as she fights breast cancer…as a happy past (and soon to be again) customer, I wish her strength.
Update: Alas, Elana passed beyond the veil, October 30th, 2013. She will be missed.