Babylon 5, the hit space opera series created by J. Michael Straczynski in the ‘90s, maybe coming back to the small screen.
A reboot of the critically acclaimed series is reportedly in development at The CW, with Straczynski set to write and exec produce the project under his Studio JMS banner. Warner Bros. Television, which served as producer of the original series, will also produce the reboot.
Described as a “from-the-ground-up reboot,” the new show will follow John Sheridan, an Earthforce officer with a mysterious background who is assigned to Babylon 5, a five-mile-long space station in neutral space that serves as a port of call for travelers, smugglers, corporate explorers, and alien diplomats at a time of uneasy peace and the constant threat of war.
Sheridan’s arrival in the titular space station triggers a destiny beyond anything he could have imagined, as an exploratory Earth company accidentally triggers a conflict with a civilization a million years ahead of us, putting Sheridan and the rest of the Babylon 5 crew in the line of fire as the last, best hope for the survival of the human race.
In the original series, Sheridan was portrayed by Bruce Boxleitner, with the regular cast also including Claudia Christian (Susan Ivanova), Jerry Doyle (Michael Garibaldi), Mira Furlan (Delenn), and Richard Briggs (Stephen Franklin). As of this writing, none of the original cast members is attached to the reboot.
The original series ran for five seasons, 110 episodes, and seven TV movies, including the 1993 pilot film, Babylon 5: The Gathering. The first four seasons aired in syndication from 1993 to 1997, while the fifth and final season aired on TNT in 1998. Considered as one of the best sci-fi series ever made, Babylon 5 won several awards throughout its run, including two Emmy Awards, two Hugo Awards, two Space Frontier Foundation Awards, a Saturn Award and an E Pluribus Unum Award.
Straczynski expanded the Babylon 5 universe with the spinoff series Crusade, which ran for one season on TNT in 1999. Aside from TV series and movies, the Babylon 5 franchise also includes novels, short stories, and comic books.
Straczynski’s other TV writing credits include the animated shows He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (1984-1985) and The Real Ghostbusters (1986-1990), as well as Showtime’s post-apocalyptic action-drama Jeremiah (2002-2004) and Netflix’s sci-fi drama Sense8 (2015-2018), which he co-created with the Wachowskis.
On the movie front, Straczynski penned the Angelina Jolie-led drama Changeling (2008), co-wrote the screenplay for the action-thriller Ninja Assassin (2009), and co-created the stories for the first Thor (2011) movie and zombie action flick World War Z (2013).