Following the recent announcement by Deadline that a Babylon 5 reboot is now officially in the works (as originally broken some time ago right here) at the CW, details are sparse, but we have some initial news that has gotten everyone at CrudeReviews really excited.
Described as a “from-the-ground-up reboot” of the classic science fiction show, the new ‘Babylon 5’ is now back in the hands of its original creator, J. Michael Straczynski. This news comes as breath of relief for B5 fans, who had previously worried about the direction the new show might take under the helm (no space station pun intended) of Zack Snyder. However, with JMS, as he is known, back at the rudder (okay, that pun was intended) it seems like the show’s future is returning to safer waters (you got us again, that was another deliberate space station pun).
The original show, known for its riveting personal and political drama, gained the love of its fans though sharp writing, tight dialogue, and a willingness to grapple with social issues that are all too real. Following on in this legacy, the reboot’s lead writer J.J. Abrams (‘Lost’, ‘The Cloverfield Paradox’, ‘Star Trek: Into Darkness’, ‘Star Wars: Episode IX: The Rise Of Skywalker’) had this to say:
“We really want to honour the incredible pedigree set by the original show. It existed in such a rich, diverse universe, full of intrigue and political commentary, and I think that really opens up the possibility for some truly outstanding action scenes and complex mystery plots. We really want to capture the original spirit, the essence of jumping from intense fight scenes to equally-intense exposition scenes about head-scratching plotlines involving parallel universes and secret maps. That’s what we want to bring to all the old fans, what they’re really looking for.”J. J. Abrams, newly-announced Babylon 5 Lead Writer
Abrams would not be pressed for further details, but he did say that he and JMS were being guided by the enormous successes of the last few films Abrams had written for.
A few snippets about the new show’s cast were also revealed, hinting at a change in course for the reboot. Previous announcements, including Mark Wahlberg in the lead role and Melissa McCarthy in multiple supporting roles, seem to now be outdated, and a new roster shows us what we can expect:
That’s an exciting list of some very big names. This will be Charlie Day’s first major return to television after ‘Always Sunny In Philadelphia’, and the small screen is familiar territory to veterans Chris Pratt and Keegan-Michael Key of ‘Parks & Rec’ and ‘Key & Peele’ respectively. Anya Taylor-Joy has mostly found success on the big screen, with the very notable exception of ‘The Queen’s Gambit’, which was particularly well-received by critics and audiences alike. For Seth Rogan Jack Black, the rebooted ‘Babylon 5’ will be their first experiences as lead cast members in a major TV show.
It is unknown if any of the cast members of the original show will make a return, either as cameos or as their old characters. However, fans have expressed special enthusiasm to see some familiar faces, and it wouldn’t be a classic reboot without at least a few winks to the audience.
The CW seems eager to reassure us of the quality of the series, however, and has announced its first two (three) directors, each to direct two episodes in the first season: Rian Johnson (‘Knives Out’, ‘Looper’) and directorial duo Lord & Miller (‘The Lego Movie’, also with Chris Pratt, and ’22 Jump Street’). Johnson had this to say when asked his thoughts on the original show and his plans for the reboot:
“I haven’t seen the original show, actually, and I’m probably, y’know, I probably won’t at this point, I think as creators it’s so important that we come to these projects fresh and without preconceptions. I don’t know what kind of ship Babylon 5 was, or where it was going, my focus is on really engaging with the audience and giving them something they won’t expect, y’know. […] At the end of the day, success for me is delivering two episodes that leave the audience either hating them, or loving them, but nothing in between, y’know, that’s how I measure success.’Rian Johnson, director of episodes 3 and 4 of the new ‘Babylon 5’ reboot
EDITOR’S NOTE: Since the time of writing this original story, we have been informed that Lord & Miller will no longer be directing the first two episodes of the new show, and that Ron Howard has instead been hired to direct the opening two-parter.
Besides that, we have a couple of initial shots of the new show, though whether these are primary concept art, early renders, or actual stills is yet to be confirmed. First up, the new Star Fury space fighter, with its classic cross-wings for added maneouvrability:
Next we have a close-up shot of what could be the eponymous station itself:
There have been some shots of costume tests for the revamped Narn. It is unknown if the makeup effects shown here are final, but it gives a good indication of the new, updated aesthetics for this iconic species:
This piece of concept art was also released, showing a possible scene for the reboot, or potentially just a “look and feel” piece for the new show. It is unknown if the station pictured is intended as concept art for the station itself:
And finally, this shot, simply titled “Mr Morden”, hints at the darker tone for the reboot:
Sadly, that’s all the information we have for now, but check back regularly, as we’ll be reporting on the new Babylon 5 show as more news breaks! And be sure to Like and Subscribe for constant up-to-date news, features, analysis, opinions, commentary and content from here to infinity!
BREAKING UPDATE: SEASON 2 ANNOUNCED
SPECIAL UPDATE: It’s just been announced that, following the roaring success of season 1 of the ‘Babylon 5’ reboot, still in production, season 2 has just been greenlit! Producers at The CW cited the “extraordinary reception and critical success” as the reassurance they needed to confirm a second season for “a show that isn’t even out yet,” further clarifying: “Of course it’s getting a second season before we’ve even finished casting for the first season, this implies the assurred success of the first season and proves to everyone that we won’t shit the bed and make a bunch of horrible mistakes that the fans will hate. Announcing a second season before the first season has even been filmed is standard procedure, and provides all the proof our paid-for social media bots need to argue that the show is actually really good and the people who hate it are just Conservatives or something.”