Long-dormant science fiction series Babylon 5 will return – in animated form. Series creator J. Michael Straczynski has announced that an animated feature from Warner Bros. and Warner Home Entertainment is in the works.
Straczynski (Sense8, Changeling), announced the project on his Twitter account today, revealing that the project’s script has been completed. He stated that the film is “Classic B5: raucous, heartfelt, nonstop, a ton of fun through time and space & a love letter to the fans.” A revival of the cult classic series has been in the works for some time – Straczynski tweeted out last week that the live-action revival is on hold for the moment, on account of the then-impending Writers Guild of America work stoppage, but promised an exciting new development soon, which has now been revealed as this animated feature. More details, including a title and a release date, will be revealed next week.
What Was ‘Babylon 5’?
Babylon 5 aired in syndication from 1994 to 1997, with its final season moving to TNT in 1998. Taking place in the 23rd century, where humans have mastered space travel and made a fragile peace with several extraterrestrial races, the series was set on the titular space station, Babylon 5, where humans mingle with other species while a sinister alien force pulls all their strings. Unusual for a TV series at the time, Babylon 5 was highly-serialized, with complex plotlines and characters evolving over the course of its five-season, 110-episode run. The show helped cultivate a small but devoted fanbase via the internet, one of the first shows to have creatives, like Straczynski, interact with fans on-line. It starred a number of science fiction veterans, including Bruce Boxleitner (Tron), Bill Mumy (Lost in Space), Patricia Tallman (1990’s Night of the Living Dead remake), Mira Furlan (Lost); it also featured Walter Koenig (Star Trek‘s Chekov) in a prominent recurring role. After its conclusion in 1998, the show spawned a short-lived spinoff, Crusade, which aired for a single season.
Never a huge ratings success, Babylon 5 has retained a devoted cult audience, and talks of a revival have been percolating for several years now. A live-action revival was announced to be in development at the CW in 2021, although last year Straczynski said it had been pushed back to the next development cycle. Complicating a revival will be the fact that several of the series’ original cast members have since passed away, including Furlan, Michael O’Hare, Jerry Doyle, Jeff Conaway, and Andreas Katsulas.
More details on the Babylon 5 animated feature will be released next week. Stay tuned to Collider for future updates.