A Babylon 5 Project With The Remaining Original Cast Has Secretly Been Completed
Babylon 5 creator J. Michael Straczynski confirms the remaining original cast has completed a new project for the franchise in secret.
In a media landscape filled with reboots and revivals of all kinds, mid-nineties sci-fi epic Babylon 5 seemed forgotten; that was until last year. Last September came the word that same guy who created the first series–J. Michael Straczynski–had a Babylon 5 reboot in the works at The CW. Now Straczynski has revealed something even more interesting: there’s another project from the franchise on the way, and this one will include the original cast.
Over the weekend, Stracyznski took to Twitter to clarify something he’d apparently been seeing a lot of confusion about. The Babylon 5 writer had teased an upcoming project due for a 2023 release which, according to The Mary Sue, would include “all of the main B5 cast members still around.” This, Straczynski explained in his tweet, was a separate project from The CW reboot. The CW series, the B5 creator explained, had yet to receive a production order. Meanwhile, the project involving cast members from the original series was already completed. You can see Straczynski’s tweet below.
Unfortunately, since Straczynski has been “sworn to secrecy,” while we know to expect the remaining original Babylon 5 cast; we don’t know if the production the writer is referring to is a video game, a podcast, an animated series/film, etc. Upon first bringing the project up on Twitter, however, he did write that it would be “the closest thing to the original B5 in tone of anything we’ve done since.” Considering the planned reboot on The CW, it would seem in most likelihood we could rule out a live-action series or film, but you never know.
While it would usually be good news that we would know who to expect an appearance from in an upcoming production, in the case of a Babylon 5 project featuring “all of the main” cast “still around,” we can narrow things down for tragic reasons. The 21st century has taken many of Babylon 5‘s cast from us; including relatively young actors. Richard Briggs, who played Dr. Franklin, died in 2004 at the age of 44 from an aortic dissection. The great character actor Andreas Katsulas who played the Narn ambassador G’Kar–who many fans would recognize as the infamous “one-armed man” Sykes of 1993’s The Fugitive–was taken by lung cancer in 2006. In 2011 Jeff Conway–who played Zack Allan, Garibaldi’s right-hand man and eventually his replacement–was taken off life support after collapsing from a combination of pneumonia and a brain disease. The show’s original lead, Michael O’Hare, died after a heart attack in 2012. Garibaldi actor Jerry Doyle passed away from natural causes complicated by alcohol abuse in 2016. Stephen Furst, who played Centauri diplomat Vir Cotto died in 2017 from complications due to diabetes. Most recently Mira Furlan–known for her role on Lost as well as playing Minbari ambassador Delenn–passed away from the West Nile Virus in early 2021.
That doesn’t mean whatever Babylon 5 project is due for a 2023 release will be nothing but empty chairs. Bruce Boxleitner–who played the lead for most of the series–is thankfully still with us as is Claudia Christian (Lt. Commander Susan Ivanova), Andrea Thompson (the psychic Talia Winters), Bill Mumy (Minbari diplomatic aide Lennier), Tracy Scroggins (Captain Elizabeth Lochley), Jason Carter (the Ranger Marcus Cole), Patricia Tallman (the psychic Lyta Alexander), and Peter Jurasik (G’Kar’s Centauri counterpart Londo). From what Straczynski said, we can expect them all–and maybe some recurring cast too(?)–in whatever Babylon 5 production is on the way.