J Michael Straczynski Announces Animated BABYLON 5 Movie

Babylon 5
Image via J Michael Straczynski

Babylon 5 creator J Michael Straczynski has announced a new project in the science-fiction franchise – an animated feature. He made the announcement today on twitter (see below), after teasing its coming over the past several days.

Not much more is known about the project, though Straczynski started that more information would be coming next week. In a followup tweet (also below) he did state that the film was finished and its release would be “very soon.” While no cast were announced, Straczynski did tweet out a recent picture of himself and series star Bruce Boxlightner in the lead up to the announcement, so it may be safe to assume that he is back reprising his role of John Sheridan in some capacity.

It should be noted that this is a separate project from the franchise reboot he has been developing at the CW. That project is currently on hold due to the WGA strike.

Babylon 5 originally ran for five season from 1994 through 1998, first as a syndicated original series and then finishing its least season on TNT. The show was the first successful modern era science fiction TV show that didn’t have the name “Star Trek” somewhere in its title. Straczynski also was one of the pioneers of long form storytelling in the medium, envisioning the series as a “novel for television.” The series was set on a five-mile long space station in neutral space between a number of alien and human territories and told the story of an interstellar war and the process to create peace afterwards. Because of the show’s novel-like structure, it was able to more fully develop its characters in a way that attracted the attention of both critics and science-fiction fans.

Attempts to spinoff from the original show were not as successful. While TNT seemed a savior when it picked up the show for its final season, it also was a hindrance during the short-lived production of the sequel series Babylon 5: Crusade. Straczynski talks about those issues in his memoirs Becoming Superman. Straczynski did make several attempts to get a live action Babylon 5 feature film into production, which we have chronicled here.

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About Rich Drees 7210 Articles
A film fan since he first saw that Rebel Blockade Runner fleeing the massive Imperial Star Destroyer at the tender age of 8 and a veteran freelance journalist with twenty-five years experience writing about film and pop culture. He is a member of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle.
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