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The secret Babylon 5 project is... an animated movie

The secret Babylon 5 project is... an animated movie


J. Michael Straczynski told us to watch the skies for ‘something wonderful,’ and here it is.

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A purple and grey cylindrical space station in space, with big fins and solar panels jutting out.
Space Station Babylon 5.
Image: Warner Bros.

It’s not clear if the Babylon 5 reboot will ever see the light of day, when you consider how the Writers Guild of America is now on strike and how corporate shuffles had already put its fate in jeopardy. But nine months ago, the creator of the award-winning space drama teased a second secret Babylon 5 project — one that would feature every surviving member of the main cast.

Today, the secret has been revealed: it’s a full-length animated movie from Warner Bros. Animation.

Fuller details will arrive in one week: we don’t even have the title yet. But on his Patreon page, series creator J. Michael Straczynski (JMS) says it’s not a sidebar story, a sequel, or a redo.

We’ve known for over two weeks that today would be the day, thanks to JMS’s tweets and that Patreon page. We’d already seen a new logo and a mysterious acronym, B5:TRH. He also told the world last August that the entire project has long been finished — which means the writer’s strike shouldn’t affect it one bit — and that it won’t debut until San Diego Comic-Con 2023, which begins July 20th.

Here are some of the best hype tweets he’s whipped up in the intervening months:

I consider Babylon 5 a foundational part of my nerd education, one that surpassed Star Wars and Star Trek because it felt more real, with evolving characters and deep political intrigue that still feels relevant today.

And while it hasn’t traditionally been celebrated with the same fan fervor, it’s an incredibly influential piece of TVit arguably single-handedly pioneered TV shows that told their stories across an entire planned series rather than resetting the agenda every episode. Lost and the Battlestar Galactica reboot get some credit for that, but both Damon Lindelof and Ronald D. Moore borrowed the idea. And don’t get me started on whether Star Trek: Deep Space Nine is a ripoff because Paramount executives allegedly stole the whole space station series playbook that JMS pitched.

I’m very interested to see how JMS weaves a compelling story with the remaining Babylon 5 cast. While he famously built “trapdoors” into every season of the original show in case his actors dropped out, a surprising number of the cast died following the end of the series, including Andreas Katsulas (G’Kar), Mira Furlan (Delenn), Jerry Doyle (Garibaldi), Richard Biggs (Dr. Franklin), Michael O’ Hare (Sinclair), and Stephen Furst (Vir). We wrote a small tribute to Furst when he died in 2017.

The original Babylon 5 got a mild remaster in early 2021 that’s arguably way better than the DVDs; it’s free to stream with ads at The Roku Channel and Tubi, and you can purchase digital episodes via Amazon and iTunes. It left HBO Max this January.