J. Michael Straczynski, the creator of Babylon 5, has said in a statement that the studios are unwilling to put money behind more instalments of the franchise, and that he’ll only do more if it really adds quality to the show.
Speaking on a Babylon 5 newsgroup, and posted at JMSnews.com, Straczynski had the following to say: “We did what we could with [The Lost Tales], 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.”
The writer goes on to say that Warner Bros. had been mulling the possibility of doing more low-budget work with Babylon 5, but he took exception to it. “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 what now for our last, best hope for peace? It seems that the final nail has been hammered home by JMS himself, who is unwilling to do anything but a feature film with the franchise. Unfortunately, this is about as likely as a US presidential candidate sticking to their nomination principles. “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.”
So that’s that then. Farewell Sheridan, Garibaldi, Ivanova and Franklin, it’s been a blast. See you beyond the rim.