BREAKING: ‘Babylon 5’ Reboot in the Works, Snyder Named as Showrunner, Wahlberg to Star

NOTE: This story has had a major update in the last few days. Please click HERE for the latest news and announcements!

Shock and surprise for sci-fi fans today as Warner Bros announced that they will soon be starting production on a brand new ‘Babylon 5’ TV series, under the direction and creative control of Zack Snyder (‘Man of Steel’, ‘300’, ‘The Justice League’) and starring Mark Wahlberg and Melissa McCarthy, to be released in Fall next year.

Also confirmed to be on board with the project so far are Damon Lindelof, who will be leading the writing team, J.J. Abrams as Executive Producer, and Aubrey Plaza playing an as-yet unnamed character.

At a Warner Bros-hosted press conference, showrunner Zack Snyder confirmed his excitement to be working on this new series, which he confirmed will be a reboot of the cult-classic sci-fi show which first aired in 1994.

Zack Snyder: “This is such a great project to be involved in. This will be my first television project, my first series, and I’m really looking forward to it. I love anything to do with space, and science fiction, and I can’t wait to get started filming on what’s going to be a fantastic, mind-blowing show.”

Questioned about what plans had already been made for the new, rebooted Babylon 5 series, Snyder revealed a few interesting details.

Snyder: “We really want to capture what made the original Babylon 5 so special, and so loved by fans, so Damon [Lindelof] and I, we sat down and really tried to distill the core themes. Obviously, war is a huge one, this big military conflict, so we want to bring those big, iconic space battles to life, with modern day special effects and CGI.”

On the exact nature of the reboot, and what sort of themes might emerge, Damon Lindelof had some insight.

Damon Lindelof: “Obviously we want to stay loyal to the original show, and all the incredible drama and tension that it was so well known for. A lot of the original show focused heavily on political intrigue and that sort of thing, but we think the fans really want a more action-packed, emotionally intense story, with more direct conflict between the characters.”

One of the biggest surprises was the casting of Mark Wahlberg (‘Planet of the Apes’, ‘Pain & Gain’, ‘Transformers 5’) as the show’s lead, replacing Bruce Boxleitner as Commander John Sheridan. Snyder was enthusiastic about this casting choice.

Snyder: “This is a big, big stamp of approval for the show, getting such a massive star like Mark involved. Like me, Mark is new to TV drama, but he’s the kind of big-screen actor who will bring a really cinematic feel to everything. […] John Sheridan is a great character, and Bruce [Boxleitner] did a fantastic performance, and we think Mark has the right kind of frenetic, macho energy to live up to that great legacy.”

This will be Wahlberg’s first role in a TV drama series after a lengthy and very successful career in movies. Best known for serious, hard-hitting action roles, his casting as Sheridan gives a strong hint at the direction the new series will go in. Leaked images of costume tests also give us an idea of the aesthetic of the new show, and the cleaner, more modern view of the future it will be presenting.

Mark Wahlberg, AKA Commander John Sheridan, donning an early version of a new, all-in-white Babylon 5 uniform.

The other confirmed casting choice is Melissa McCarthy (‘Bridesmaids’, ‘Gilmore Girls’, ‘Saturday Night Live’), who was confirmed to be playing not one, but two of the characters from the original series.

Snyder: “We had real difficulty deciding on what direction to take some of the characters in, like Londo, and G’Kar. These were two really funny, really light-hearted comic relief characters and we didn’t just want to re-tread the same ground. We already had McCarthy on board to play Londo. Then – and this was suggested by Warner Bros – then there was this great idea of why not get her playing G’Kar as well?

“The friendship between these two aliens is such an integral part of the story, why not have them played by the same person? There’s really no better way to build that kind of comedic, buddy-cop chemistry between two characters than if they’re played by the same person. And Melissa, she’s so talented, so so talented, she’s going to make these two roles really stand out, she’s an absolute star.”

The Babylon 5 reboot will mark McCarthy’s first major return to serialised TV since ‘Mike & Molly’. Early concept art for her Londo make-up was leaked at the press conference, to give an idea of some of the aesthetic changes that we’ll see in the 2019 series, along with a pre-production rendering of the CGI makeover that G’Kar and the other Narn will receive.

LEFT: Concept art for the new Londo Mollari, played by Melissa McCarthy. RIGHT: Early renders of the new-look G’Kar, to be voiced by Melissa McCarthy.

Snyder: “Of course, once we had Londo and G’Kar cast, then we had to think about the other classic pairing from the old show, Vir and Lennier. And then the guys at Warner Bros had another completely out-of-the-box idea: if you already have Melissa playing Londo and G’Kar, why not have her also playing the other odd couple, Vir and Lennier?”

Lindelof: “Right, right. So then Zack and I, we just looked at each other, and, yeah, it made perfect sense. Melissa is just so wonderful in any role she plays, and we figured, it can’t hurt to have more opportunities to feature such an amazing talent on the show.”

Other roles are yet to be confirmed. No mention was made of who was on board to play the likes of Delenn, Garibaldi, Doctor Franklin, or Ivanova. The only other cast member mentioned by name to be confirmed is Aubrey Plaza, although Snyder was cagey on her role, suggesting only that she is likely to be involved with Commander Sheridan.

Snyder: “We’re thrilled to have Aubrey on board. She’s already a TV veteran, and we have some really interesting stuff planned for her character. I can’t give too much away right now, but she’s going to have a big part to play in all this. Her and Mark [Wahlberg] have a fantastic, intense chemistry together, and the relationship between the two of them is going to be a highlight of the series.”

Whilst details on the story are still being kept strictly behind closed doors, at least until production begins, fans are obviously eager to hear what’s in store for the revamped Babylon 5 and its diverse cast of characters. The invited press leaned heavily on Damon Lindelof to lift the veil a little on what he had in store from a narrative perspective.

Lindelof: “Look, I can’t get into too much right now… Zack, are you… Will you stop me if I go too far…? Okay, alright, I’ll be careful.

“There’s so much mythology that the original series built up, but we really want to use this as an opportunity to tread new ground with this universe. Right at the forefront of the original story was this big, epic war between the Vorlons and the Shadows, and it had these really clearly delineated lines between good and evil. Y’know, angels on one side, demons on the other, really classic ‘war in heaven’ stuff, where we all knew who were the good guys and who were the bad guys.

“We want to break that down a bit, muddy the waters. Modern-day audiences demand a mystery, y’know, secrets, hidden identities and so on, so we’re going to explore that path a little more, move away from the Lord of the Rings-style ‘good and evil’ and really break down those borders, y’know?

“So, the story’s going to start with Commander Sheridan, as I think it should, and he’s… am I okay to talk about this? Alright, so he’s commanding Babylon 5. Now, originally, Babylon 5 was a station, this weird kind of hodge-podge living space to keep peace or whatever. But modern audiences really want things more defined, so we’ve redesigned Babylon 5 to be this awesome new ship, a big battleship, that they use to enforce peace and protect humanity.”

Early conceptual renders for the new titular vessel Babylon 5.

Lindelof: “So this big ship, it’s really badass, and what we’re trying to do is shift the focus away from all of that big mythology stuff and get into the real grittiness of this universe. So Sheridan, he’s not the Sheridan we’re used to, he’s this inquisitor-style character, and he’s using the Babylon 5 to track down these evil rebels, terrorists, basically, breaking away from government rule.

“So that’s the theme we really want to play with, the idea that anyone could be one of these terrorists, even on board his ship, and he never knows who might turn on him. We’re drawing a lot of inspiration from, like, how we feel today, y’know, where there’s terrorists everywhere, and how does the government, like, how does the military, like Sheridan, protect people from them, from those terrorists, what kind of moral compromises do they need to make?

“So we’ve still got some of those great alien characters, like Mondo and Jekkar, but we’re keeping them more as sidekicks, really, as the comic relief they always used to be, kind of just in the background, and the real drama, that’s all going to be human-based. Like, it’s an allegory, metaphorical, y’know? We think fans are going to love it.”

[Zack Snyder nods in agreement]

It seems as though everything’s been thought out well ahead of time, and it looks like there’s a clear direction for the series to go down. But for now, it will presumably be a waiting game until more details are released closer to the first air date.

There wasn’t much more information shared at the press conference, but rumours are already circulating in industry circles about some aspects of the show. Danny Elfman is on record to be in discussion with Warner Bros for a television soundtrack, and many are assuming that he will be composing for the rebooted B5.

And whilst most of the main characters from the old show are yet to be cast, there are already suggestions that the role of the sinister Bester, previously played by Star Trek’s Walter Koenig, may be offered to Snyder-collab Ben Affleck in what would be his first major TV role.

Production is to start soon on the new series with the pilot episode, ‘Do You Bleed?’, set to begin filming early in the new year. All sorts of news may come out between now and then, and we’ll be sure to keep you updated.

Neither J. Michael Straczynski nor any of the original Babylon 5 crew or cast were available for comment at the time of writing.

79 thoughts on “BREAKING: ‘Babylon 5’ Reboot in the Works, Snyder Named as Showrunner, Wahlberg to Star

  1. I at first thought this was serious. But hrmmm… Melissa McCarthy starring as both Londo and G’kar? And as Lennier and Dellen? Then using pics from the “planet of the apes” remake, claiming it’s an early costume of the Babylon 5 uniform… what a sick joke. Not even close to funny. Whoever thought this was a great idea to post this obviously fake news should have looked at J.M.S media posts. Warner Bros. holds the rights to Babylon 5: the series and has no plans of ever allowing it to be used. J.M.S only owns the rights to the B5 movies. No studio will go ahead with a reboot unless all the rights are owned by one entity.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. If this is legit it cannot happen with Londo and G’Kar with McCarthy. These aren’t comic relief these are principle characters with some very heavy story arcs. It would be much better (to keep the and retain the fans and new ones) to rework the original and remaster it to HD. You will save money and time and you will not Piss off the many B5 fans.


      2. are you telling me the concept “art” for babylon 5 is the sulaco from aliens, and the roger young from starship troopers? really. this cant be a real article.


    1. Ok I will start by approaching it like Dr Who. I see you’ve been doing up the TARDIS a bit . I DON’T LIKE IT. G’Kar and Lando are both men . Plus they have G’Kar looking like the Gorn from Star Trek Enterprise : A Mirror Darkly. Sorry folks I’m not impressed .So far all I see is a re-visit of the BSG Reboot which was not that great IMO .


      1. Yes, G’Kar was maybe more Human than many of the Humans. Using a Gorn, is a bad joke, I could not take it seriously Audrey Plaza is the only actor which could be fun, but serious drama, don’t know about that. Boot this reboot if it is in fact not fake altogether.


    2. I think its real. Everything is getting a remake these days, plus lets face it Babylon 5 was a remake of deep space 9 anyway. I’m hoping that this will be like 300 in space, but also that because they have Mellissa McCarthy a bit like bridesmaids too.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. For Gods sake man, if you are going to say something inflammatory like this at least have the sense to do some research first.

        Babylon 5 was pitched to Universal years before DS9, it looks like the producers of DS9 copied elements of Babylon 5s premise.

        A lot of stuff on the net about it.

        How can Babylon 5 be a remake of a show produced at the same time?

        Liked by 2 people

      2. I’m not saying that Babylon 5 would be good as 300/bridesmades in space, but this guy have a point. DS9 is a star trek and Gene Rodenby died in 1991 – so clearly the ideas for DS9 musc come from before 1991. I’ve just googled it and B5 came out in 1994 – so there was plenty of time for JMS to copy them. Maybe he got them when he was pitching to universal.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. That is not how it went… Babylon 5 got plagiarized BY DS9- Micheal pitched it to the Trek producers a few years before either show existed, and they just took his idea, and kicked him out. There was almost a lawsuit over this, and you can do research yourself.


      4. @WrathOfKhan

        “I’m not saying that Babylon 5 would be good as 300/bridesmades in space, but this guy have a point. DS9 is a star trek and Gene Rodenby died in 1991 – so clearly the ideas for DS9 musc come from before 1991. I’ve just googled it and B5 came out in 1994 – so there was plenty of time for JMS to copy them. Maybe he got them when he was pitching to universal.”

        Dead wrong! Babylon 5 was being pitched to different networks for 5 years. That’s before it came out in 1993.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. ‘G-R.’:
        you’re either IGNORANT, or, an instigating fool. Are u familiar wit tha ‘chiken-&-the-egg’ premise?? ‘B5’ was pitched, by J.M.S., to the ‘gods’ of Star Trek, who swiftly & summarily STOLE & fully PLAIGARISED, HIS creativity & hard work, to release the entirely crappy ‘D.S.-9’. get ur facts straight.

        Keith B. R.


      6. Interesting concept except that Babylon 5 was pre-DS9. Both great shows but Star Trek ripped off B5 not the other way around.


      7. GhettoRap… Just let’s get the facts right shall we… Babylon 5 was written well before DS9 and the writer of B5 took the DS9 to court and it was eventually settled out of court. B5 and Michael Straczynski definitely came first and in fact was rejected from CBS, then CBS suddenly came up with DS9. Even the commentators said how ‘different DS9 was to all the other Star Trek franchises’. That should say it all right there.
        This news though HAS to be BS. Melissa McCarthy starring as both Londo and G’kar… are you f’king kidding me?! No, Just No. They are not just a comic relief, they are principle characters and have a very strong arc. They are NOT comic relief. Just by this article if this is truly what they are thinking of for a B5 reboot. No Thanks.


      8. actually, Warner brothers was approached by JMS BEFORE the concept of deep space nine the star trek franchise stole the idea form JMS not the other way around..


      9. BULLSHIT! JMS pitched it to CBS, they turned it down, and then “coincidentally” popped up a far inferior ripoff. Screw ‘Space Mall 9″!!!


      10. Note to someone has hacked your website and is using it to publish ridiculous articles, taking up valuable space that could be used for something intelligent. You might want to review your security protocols.


      11. Babylon 5 was NOT a remake of Deep Space 9. They ran concurrently on television. In order for Babylon 5 to be a remake it would have had to run after Deep Space 9, which it didn’t. Besides, Deep Space 9 was geared toward kids while Babylon 5 was geared toward a much more mature audience of adults. And Babylon 5 pioneered many innovations to sci-fi that Deep Space 9 never did. Check your facts before posting erroneous information.


    3. “SPACE THE FINAL FRONTIER” , but all Hollywood can do is the same old shows with fresh faces why not do something original ,, tiered of these rehashing of old shows, there are plenty of other books in the genre .

      Liked by 1 person

    4. the creator of Battlestar Galactica 75 can’t remake Babylon 5? BSG 75 did an awesome job on their stories, ships and space wars. I say they should do Babylon 5. just a thought. i would love to have them to remake Babylon 5


  2. What a hoot.. and fake news… Londo and G’kar comic relief buddies? They were the antithesis of that.. the meat of Bab5 was all about their ‘conflict ‘. Nice try..😎

    Liked by 1 person

  3. First “Why?” Babylon 5 was an excellent series that told this epic story in five chapters, each season being a chapter. It had one of the best series endings that completed the story. Very emotional ending as well.
    Second, Melissa Mccarthy playing four characters, two of which were never the comic relief of the show? That ridiculous.
    Third, Babylon 5 is a battleship? No freakin way.
    Zack Synder is a hack. His super hero movies are a joke and terrible. Terrible casting choices. Weak stories. Everything thrown into the story except the kitchen sink. Too much reliance on CGI. George Lucas anyone?
    I hope that this is a fake story. I can’t believe the original creator of the series would ever allow this to happen.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Please dont screw up tbe roles of Molori and J’kar with a woman. These was male roles. I sure JJ ABRAMS is behind this. All of us who love BABYLON 5 send in your discuss. Mark is cool as Sheridan. But dobt change what was good. Go back to the colors or military colors. Get Jason Stateham for security chief Garibaldi. Delynn Get the character strait with people that will bring back fan. Dont ruin it like you have Star Trek timeline bull. JJ stay out. Find who worked on the Original show. Too help!!!# but I thank u for bringing it back. Not saying a woman cant play a role but let male playing parts to males. Pleassssse! Aliens, Human, old ones so forth. Dont blow it it will be cancelled after 3 season. Break a record 10 seasons. So many ideas out . Ill write it shoot heck just dont mess it up.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. For your entertainment, I was internally screaming the further I went down the page until they got beyond the realm of plausibility and I realized what was going on…. and then checked the comments to be sure. It was sounding like every person quoted had barely watched the show if at all, and were getting every single theme and nuance WRONG.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Stupid and childish joke, dude! Why waste our time (and your time) with a low quality joke? Get a life or get a shrink, but don’t waste our time that way. And please don’t bother to reply me saying how sad you are with my comment and blablabla. Even the best jokes have a timing, and your’s is approaching quickly the Worst Joke Ever docking bay.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. First you say that you are staying true to the original then you change B5 from a space station/neutral meeting place to a battle ship? I’m very disappointed. The name of the place implies a multicultural place.
    Next you’ll want to reboot Deep Space 9 and have it chasing bad guys all over the Gamma Quadrant.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I personally think that having Melissa McCarthy casted in this way is one of the most progressive and mature choices made by the producers here. I can’t wait to see now.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This is brilliant. I hated that old show, I am so glad they are going to finnally fix it. All of you who don’t think Mellissa McCarthy can play these roles are probably the same sexists that ruined the new ghostbusters for everyone.

      Think about it, a man played all those parts in the original. So you are sexist if you don’t think that a woman can do the same job.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I totally agree! This is exactly the progress we need. The old show lacked diversity and was incredibly backwards in its representations, I literally can’t even watch it for that, omg!

        Also I like the heavier focus on action and war, showing that women of various colors too can be used as cannon fodder in wars for stability, control and freedom which is a truly inspiring message to young girls and women everywhere.


  8. This was hilarious thank you so much. What’s even more hilarious is the bulk of these comments, keep up the good work internets!

    Special kudos to the guy who went on an anti-women rant because he believed McCarthy was going to be playing 4 roles.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I think this is a joke. I agree that it’s disgusting, because it’s not obvious. This type of “fake news” should be banned. I will no longer visit website because I was looking for B5 news, and was tricked.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Snyder, your remarks show how ignorant you are regarding Babylon 5. Warner Brothers, I guarantee you suits have a sure fail on your hands. All without any input from JMS. Shame!


  11. Oh the hope when I read this ‘news’, the consternation when I read who was involved and what they thought about the original.
    Then came the dawning realisation. It’s a wind up. Especially when the pre production shots all showed stuff from other movies and shows. Some of it was pretty clever. Just the mention of Zack Snyder got my hackles up. You couldn’t pick a more inappropriate director if you tried. Kudos to whoever wrote this, you knew exactly what buttons to press.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I’ve got mixed feeling about this to be honest.
    Sure, it’s great to get more action with updated CGIs and all and I really want to see those epic battles with modern aesthetics, as they’ve always been the most important part of Babylon 5! Also, the casting is superb and will finally add the diversity and depth the old B5 was lacking.
    But it needs a bit more than just acting and characters… it needs stories that connect them. And I can’t imagine anybody better for the job of telling deep and inspiring Sci-Fi stories than Alex Kurtzman, so I seriously hope they’re gonna recruit him for this project as the visionary and talented man he is. Make it happen!


  13. This is bullshit… The “New Look” for G’kar Is a picture of a Gorn from star trek enterprise… Also- the ships are from other sci-fi works… The large ship at the bottom is a picture of a Titian from EVE online…

    I want a B5 reboot as much as the next sci-fi fan, but JMS himself said it would never happen… Atleast without him.


  14. Please make Babylon 5 a reality? I hope that you will continue to the end, I only hope that it will be bigger and better then the original?


  15. This has surely got to be a joke.
    I would love to see a good B5 reboot, but this could only be done with JMS at the helm.

    This reads like someone read a sysnopsis of the show and watched a couple of episodes.
    The Vorlons and Shadows are clearly good and evil…. Reeeaaallyy?
    Londo and G’Kar are comic relief characters???
    To be honest, all WB really need to do is find the original B5 model data they lost, re-render in widescreen HD and 4K, and then they could re-release on Bluray and 4K Bluray.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. B.S. just look at the imdb of these people, and see that its not there. and thank god for that. melissa McCarthy shouldn’t be in anything


  17. All you have to do is look at the pictures and subtitles to know it’s BS. They’re all from other franchises and quite recognizable. Even someone who didn’t recognize that might notice the uniform for “Sheridan” that says “Davidson,” for god sake.


  18. It’s good this is not going to happen: Mark Wahlberg and Melissa McCarthy… the idea gives me nightmares. One lead with the charisma of a shop window manequin and the other a very un-funny comedian with wrong gender! All I’m asking for is that a watchable version of the greatest Sci-Fi show ever is finally being released on BD or DVD. I don’t care if it is in 4:3 instead of widescreen… but the blurry and cropped FX sequences have really been a big letdown… it looked brilliant at the time on TV and VHS but the DVDs destroyed the whole viewing experience. It’s like one scene is crisp, the next is low res blurry and full of artefacts, the next one is crisp again, and back and forth between the two. Hurts my eyes and my heart!


  19. Well I LOVED the B5 series and would love a SERIOUS reboot. But wouldn’t it be B6? B5 was nicely wrapped up and if I remember “destroyed”. Make a Bad Ass B6 ship that is way advanced and powerful than B5. Please lets not ruin it with Muppets like some of the crap in Star Wars. Lets not ruin this with Melissa McCarthy playing ANYTHING. I probably wont even watch it if she is in there. We don’t need stupid “funny” stuff. Some comic relief is fine but lets not get stupid with it. Mark would be create!! Get some GOOD writers that will provide a great storyline PLEASE.


  20. What a load of twaddle. Seriously as a life long B5 fan I was at first excited by the news then doubt started creeping in then BAM !!! The so called early B5 Wahlberg uniform shot !! Honestly any fan worth their salt would have known that uni is from Planet of the Apes, jeez even the name patch says Davidson not Sheriden as article would have you believe.
    Get a grip the peeps who post such nonesense and stop taking the piss with devoted fans of not only B5 but other Sci Fi legends.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. This isn’t probably true, but if there was one person I would not mind being the show runner of a re-booted “Babylon 5”, it would be Zack Snyder. Mark Wahlberg as the star? Eh . . . I don’t know.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Sadly Abrams and Lindelof are awful enough writers to actually ruin this. The real giveaway was the designs for the new B5.

    I hold Snyder in slightly higher regard.


  23. A huge HUGE mistake not to invite Bruce Boxleitner to continue as Sheridan. The guy you have selected is by far inferior to him, both in appearance and talent. Boxleitner made us all watch it, even through the occasional humps in the story (like never having been shown how the good guys took out Mr. Bester the PsyCore villain). I will not watch this silly concoction unless Boxleitner is on the cast! Delenn was actually way too ugly and old to be Sheridan’s bride, in my opinion, so I would nt mind seeing somebody else playing her role. And while at it, call this project Babylon 6 and not Babylon 5 which ended with the station being shut down and eliminated, and let Garibaldi play Garibaldi. I wonder what Strazinsky has to say about your “innovative” ideas, LOL!


  24. Oh, looks like I was fooled into believing this project is seriously being planned….hahaha! I must give you 5 stars for the mockery! And sorry for misspelling Straczinsky. Nice honest hard working guy and a great story teller.


  25. i would love a reboot or the original to finish off its story lines , i loved this show it was the best space show stark trek was cheap compared to this show. some of the great actors from the old show have passed away which is sad. but having Melissa McCarthy playing several roles of main people sounds stupid as its not a comedy and she cant play straight . and as for mark Wahlberg he would kill the role not a good choice . i wouldn’t watch it in what this site has described. but then as others have said it want happen .


  26. Although this reboot was cancelled after Wahlberg and McCarthy got arrested, it has since been picked up by SBC TV, and it’s going to an animation.

    Liked by 1 person

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