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A Babylon 5 television revival or movie? In your dreams, says J. Michael Straczynski

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Apr 20, 2018

Don't get your hopes up for more Babylon 5. Series creator J. Michael Straczynski revealed on Twitter that Warner Bros., which holds the TV rights to the show, has no intention of working on a revival of the sci-fi classic due to some apparent grudge against the original network on which the series aired, Prime Time Entertainment Network (aka PTEN).

Speaking pretty openly, Straczynski compared the studio to "a monkey with its fist around a nut in a jar," and they'd never let another company take over the intellectual property because if it were to do well, it could be potentially embarrassing for them. Not even a fan-supported Kickstarter campaign like the one that saved Mystery Science Theater 3000 would help, added the screenwriter/director. 

When asked when the rights could lapse back to him, Straczynski stated that since WB is considered a "living entity" by modern corporate laws, he'll never get them back. However, he still retains the film rights to Babylon 5, but said it would be tricky to convince another studio to make a feature film, as they usually prefer to have all the rights in one place. Warner doesn't even want to remaster the original episodes and "won't spend an additional penny on [Babylon 5]."

There was some talk about him working on a film adaptation back in 2014, but it seems it's pretty much dead in the water at this point. Check out his illuminating tweets below. 

Babylon 5 ran for a total of five seasons, 110 episodes, and six TV movies between 1993 and 1998. Taking place in a future where Earth is united and has set up colonies across the cosmos, the series focused on the eponymous space station, where a collection of humans and aliens engaged in trade and diplomacy, experiencing political rivalries, racial tensions, and more.

Straczynski once stated this his goal with the project was "to take an adult approach to SF, and attempt to do for television SF what Hill Street Blues did for cop shows."