Babylon 5 was one of the biggest cult shows of the ’90s, even if you had to watch every episode to figure out what was going on. It remains beloved to this day by nerds, but there hadn’t been any word on it coming back. That changed with Comic-Con: One way or another, it looks like the Earth Alliance is hitting the silver screen.
If you haven’t seen it, Babylon 5‘s basic conceit is that the various warring alien races of the galaxy have built a series of space stations to learn to live together in harmony. It’s a plan that has gone so well Babylon 5 is the last one that hasn’t either run out of funding to be built or mysteriously disappeared, which one has to admit is probably what would happen with a project like this. So now the aliens have to learn to work together or we’re screwed for some reason. I never really got into the show, so I’m a little hazy on what that threat is. Probably something with an apostrophe in it, because galactic threats always have an apostrophe in the middle of their names. But its fan base loved it and still does: There was plenty of Babylon 5 stuff at the Philly Comic Con when I was there.
According to TVWise, that’s good enough for Stracyznski to start working on a script. And it appears to be getting made, either way:
Next to nothing is known about the plot for this Babylon 5 feature film, beyond the fact that it is a reboot of the concept seen in the series. That said, J. Michael Straczynski has stated that he would like to use cast members from the series, such as Bruce Boxleitner and Mira Furlan, in new roles in the feature film. “I’d love to see Bruce as the President of the Earth Alliance”, he said.
The hope is that Warner Bros, who produced the Babylon 5 television series, would step up and green-light a “big budget” feature film once the script has been completed. Should Warner Bros. choose not to greenlight a B5 movie, Straczynski would still proceed with the feature, which would then be funded and produced through his Studio JMS banner on a budget of $80 – $100 million.
Production of this might be affected by Stracyznski’s Harlan Ellison fan film, but honestly, it seems fairly realistic that he could secure $80 to $100 million of somebody else’s money to make a Babylon 5 movie. If franchises that existed entirely to fill the bottom shelves of video stores can get a gritty reboot, a property that has an actual fan base that will pay money to see it in theaters can probably secure funding.
It’s mostly a question of whether it’ll be accessible to people who aren’t fans. But we’ll see as this progresses.