If you’ve been keeping with Babylon 5 creator J. Michael Straczynski via his Facebook fan page of late, you’ve probably seen him name-drop his friendship with Matrix creators Lana and Andy Wachowski and praise their upcoming Cloud Atlas. While it could simply have been a fried speaking kindly of work and talents he admires, I have been curious if we’d ever see the three of them teaming up professionally on anything, and now that question has been answered. The Wachowskis are working with JMS on a top-secret TV project called Sense8.
Unfortunately, the concept behind the hourlong drama project is being kept under wraps for now — not surprising when the Wachowskis are involved — so we’ll just have to wait for an official announcement or a lucky leak. Variety says that Straczynski and the Wachowskis have been developing the series for a while now, that JMS will serve as showrunner, and that the siblings are expected to direct some of the episodes. Straczynski added another tidbit to the scarce information we have via his Facebook fan page, mentioning that Sense8 would be one of the first projects coming out of his Studio JMS media company, which he launched with Babylon 5 vet Patricia Tallman this past July. Either way, it’s exciting news for fans of JMS, the Wachowskis, or simply the science fiction genre as a whole. Okay, so we don’t actually know if the show is going to be SF at all, but given the resumes of those involved I’d say there’s a pretty good chance.
Regardless of the concept, Sense8 should be an intriguing project simply because it’s the first time the Wachowskis have worked in television. They’ve been in something of a radio silence since the 2008 release of the Speed Racer. They seem to be trying to make up for lost time now, however, because on top of this new TV show they still have two high-profile SF film projects in the pipeline — Cloud Atlas later this month and Jupiter Ascending in 2014.
As for Straczynski, his star has been on the rise in recent years, landing a series of high-profile scripting assignments after his original screenplay Changeling earned star Angelina Jolie an Oscar nomination for her role. Along with announcing Studio JMS, which has projects in the works across several different media, Straczynski has been returning to the small screen in force. In addition to Sense8, he’s got a show called Vlad Dracula in the works at Starz, as well as a pandemic thriller drama for ABC.
We’ll keep you posted as more developments break, but in the mean time this old B5 fan sends JMS an enthusiastic “Attaboy, Joe!”