JMS Speaks

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Sindatur
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Post by Sindatur »

JMS has a long post about how the sale of The Changling is affecting his professional life over at JMSNews. It is definitely worth reading in full.

http://www.jmsnews.com/msg.aspx?id=1-17576

Here's a short excerpt:


Quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

When Imagine and Ron Howard bought that script, the effect was
electric. Suddenly everybody in town wanted to know who the hell was
this guy they'd never heard of who just sold a script to Howard and, in
essence, jumped the line from "who?" to A-list without much in-between.
Twenty years in TV, now suddenly an overnight success.

Within hours of the announcement, every studio in town was calling my
agent to get a copy of the script. As it got read, they started
calling to set up meetings. Not us calling them. Them calling us.

And then the offers started. Rewrite offers. Original film offers.
Adaptations. I've had no less than one and in many cases two or three
studio meetings every day for the last several weeks, and my calendar
is one big mass of black type for the next four weeks. A big-budget
feature that Sony wants me to rewrite because it has to go into
production fast, one that Universal wants developed, on and on and
on...all I have to do is say yes to whichever ones I want and they're
mine. Everything I've ever written is suddenly being pored over and
optioned.

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Post by Merle »

That is great news, and well deserved. B5 is some of the very best written stuff I've ever seen on TV or in a theatre.
Beelzebub has a devil put aside for me.

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Post by Nomad »

Wow! I can only assume that with this greater recognition of JMS and his talents that he can gain funds and support for a B5 Movie as well. Maybe just in time after he finishes all these other things and has his few years to mourn.
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Post by Sindatur »

From the moderated newsgroup:


Quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I just got back today from two days spent at Ron's farm up in
Connecticut going through the script and doing what's necessary to get
this thing up and on the rails with him and several of the brass from
Imagine, and boy, I gotta tell you, it was maybe one of the best
creative experiences I've had in a long time. To work with guys who
really know story, who when they discuss the script it's all about what
makes sense rather than giving notes out of agendas or egos...it's like
a breath of fresh air, and nice people on top of that.

It's all very exciting, they're already budgeting and doing schedules,
talking to actors, and talking about the film as a prestige project.
This was my first meeting with Ron, and it confirmed everything that
I'd heard: level-headed, incredibly smart and creative, grounded,
friendly, it's all about what makes the best story, the best scene, the
best shot.

As if this were all not enough, late Friday, after a number of
conversations with a major studio about another project -- a big-budget
historical action piece, think something along the lines of Braveheart
or Gladiator -- they called to offer me the gig. I accepted, and we're
off to the races. My first priority of course is to Changeling, but
once that's up and moving ahead, I go right to this and B5:TLT.

The script for Borrowed Lives will be going in this week to Touchstone,
and we'll see what follows thereafter. But I'm very happy with the
script at this point.

Amazing times....

jms

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Post by aldan »

Ah, yes... the closed doors of Hollywood! When someone cracks them open a bit to let in a new face, and that new face is let in by a someone that is a SOMEONE, then it can really blow up like a pair of rabbits, turning into a great bunch of opportunities. I look forward to seeing what more will happen because of this! Thanks for sharing, Sindatur!
"It is better to keep your mouth shut and to appear stupid than
to open it and remove all doubt."
---Mark Twain

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Post by Sindatur »

Update from the Weekend, everything is still proceeding, although starting Production on B5: The Lost Tales is being pushed back a month, as some peoplehe wanted in the first round were not available until October, rather than September.

From: jmsa...@aol.com - view profile
Date: Sat, Aug 26 2006 4:42 am
Email: jmsa...@aol.com
Groups: rec.arts.sf.tv.babylon5.moderated

Boy howdy, has it been a hectic few weeks.

Okay, where to start? The second draft of the script for Ron Howard
will be going to him next week, and sometime in September we'll learn
where this all lands in terms of production schedules. It's looking
very good at the moment.

Hot on the heels of finishing that script, we've closed the deal for me
to write another feature for Universal, the big-budget
historical/action film alluded to earlier. That deal is now set, and
I'll be starting the writing shortly. So that's two firm done-deals
in feature films in the last few months, and if a recent meeting at
Paramount provides the expected results, I may have a third deal in
hand for the coming year, another big-budget film to be based on a
novel coming out in September.

I've also started in on the writing for the first B5: Lost Tales
script, and we've now spoken to several of the original cast members,
who are on board with the idea. It's still going to be a factor of
what deals can be made and with whom, as well as story elements that
are now being worked out, but things are moving ahead. Because some of
the crew and others we wanted won't be available until October, we've
pushed a bit, which is fine, since it gives me a bit more time to get
the script where it needs to be and start laying out my shot list as
director.

The pilot script for "Borrowed Lives" has been very well received by
Touchstone, and with a few minor notes we should be able to get this in
to the network in a few weeks. Then we shall see what we shall see,
but it looks promising for now.

For the comics fans out there...the solicitations went out this week
for the first issue of my miniseries "Bullet Points" for Marvel. I'm
really, really proud of this thing, and I commend it to you highly. So
if you're interested, let your comic store know to set aside copies,
because I think it's gonna sell out fairly quickly.

I should be receiving the approval CDs containing the final versions of
"The Adventures of Apocalypse Al" this week from the CBC. Assuming no
tweaks are needed, that should be it. I think they're talking about
October for an airdate, but that depends on their scheduling windows.
After that, as noted previously, it goes to Sirius and a bunch of
overseas markets.

Finally, I've cleared out a window of time so I can get the next B5
script book out the door on schedule. It's the only thing that I've
had any flexibility on in terms of deadlines, so it got pushed, but I'm
now in a position to come up for air a bit.

As you can guess, the last few weeks have been nonstop meetings and
nonstop writing. This is the busiest I've been since years 4 and 5 of
B5. It's been pretty breathtaking at times, a lot of deadlines that I
wasn't always sure I could make, but in the end it seems to be laying
out pretty clean. The best part, to be honest, has been working with
Ron Howard and the Imagine folks on the script. When I've heard people
say "Each draft got better than the one before it," I've never believed
it because my experience of studio people was that each draft generally
got stupider. Not this time. It really has gotten better with each
iteration, more filmic, for lack of a less moronic term. I like
learning from people, and the learning curve here has been both steep
and deeply satisfying.

So I'm very happy. Tired beyond description just now, but happy
nonetheless.

jms

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Post by Merle »

Well, aldan, looks like those offers are multiplying like rabbits! Good for JMS. I'm sure once he gets going, he'll be remarkably successful.
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Post by aldan »

Yep, it's as I was expecting. It's funny how it works, in a non-ha-ha sort of way, but if you have the luck and the skill, it can happen, and seems to have for JMS, which is GREAT!
"It is better to keep your mouth shut and to appear stupid than
to open it and remove all doubt."
---Mark Twain

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Post by Sindatur »

Merle wrote:Well, aldan, looks like those offers are multiplying like rabbits! Good for JMS. I'm sure once he gets going, he'll be remarkably successful.


HEHE, an overnight success who's been working in TV writing since Murder She Wrote (And maybe earlier)

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JMS, Clint Eastwood and Ron Howard Collaborate

Post by Sindatur »

Universal Pictures and Imagine Entertainment are fast-tracking "The Changeling," with Clint Eastwood looking to direct and Angelina Jolie in talks to star.
Scripted by J. Michael Straczynski, the film will become a co-production of Imagine and Eastwood's Malpaso. Brian Grazer and Ron Howard will produce with Malpaso's Rob Lorenz.

Plan is to start production later this year.

Jolie would play a woman whose son is abducted but retrieved; she suspects, however, that the returned child is not her kid. The woman must then confront corruption in the LAPD. Story is based on true events in 1920s Los Angeles.

U and Imagine have been high on the project since acquiring it last summer and placing it on a shortlist of films that Imagine partner Howard intended to direct next. When Howard instead committed to adapt the Peter Morgan play "Frost/Nixon," he and Grazer began thinking of other filmmakers. Since they expect to follow up "The Da Vinci Code" with a pic based on the Dan Brown novel "Angels & Demons," it was clear Howard wouldn't get to "The Changeling" for two years.

Howard, Grazer and Imagine exec Jim Whitaker then called Eastwood and asked him to read the script. Though a fixture at Warner Bros., Eastwood had to enlist outside partners to get his most recent films going: "Million Dollar Baby" and the dual pics "Flags of Our Fathers" and "Letters From Iwo Jima."

Jolie, who'll next be seen as Marianne Pearl in "The Mighty Heart" and then in the Bob Zemeckis-directed "Beowulf," will have to juggle "The Changeling" with another plum project. She's booked to star in "Atlas Shrugged," a Randall Wallace-scripted adaptation of the Ayn Rand classic for Lionsgate.

She's repped by Media Talent Group's Geyer Kosinski. Eastwood is managed by Lenny Hirshan.

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Post by Sindatur »

4/15/07 JMS update on The Lost Tales (Full DVD has been delivered to WB, just waiting for pre-sales to begin), The Changeling and World War Z, amongst other things

Title: update from jms 4/15/07
Author: "jmsatb5@aol.com" <jmsatb5@aol.com>
Date: 15 Apr 2007 03:46:13 -0700
Message-ID: <1176633973.305493.122140@q75g2000hsh.googlegroups .com>

There's been a lot going on, and more to come, so these will be brief
and to the point....

The first draft for the script to World War Z has been turned in and
has met with a *very* positive reaction. I'm making my final
revisions now and should turn in the second draft by the 23rd or so.

The B5 DVD has been fully delivered to WB along with finals on all of
the director's blogs, the interviews, and fireside chats. I'd expect
to see them online in a few weeks, one at a time.

"Changeling" continues unabated toward production in the fall. I'm
looking forward to meeting Clint Eastwood soon, once he returns from
vacation.

Having finished WWZ and David, there are at present five other feature
projects in front of me which I'll be choosing between over the next
few weeks: one based on a mainstream historical novel by a pulitzer
prize winning author, another historical work, a very well known
Marvel comics character, a sequel to a classic mainstream mystery
film, and a movie based on a massively influential series of SF
novels. Which of those goes first will depend on the deals now being
put together. Suffice to say I've found myself in rather stunning
company of late.

Expect several major announcements at San Diego Comic Con in addition
to all the stuff already discussed.

One of the projects I can't talk about yet is taking me to London in
early May for a week, and shortly afterward, Berlin. While I'm there,
I'll also use the time to have meetings at the BBC, Channel 4 and
elsewhere, and may try to work in a signing somewhere.

Finally, volume 11 of the script books is about to come out, and I
wanted to let folks know that there won't be any photos or memos in
this volume (well, one memo) because this covers the insane period
between the end of the fourth season and the beginnings of the fifth
season...all of the fireworks, all the twists and turns, much of it
never before revealed in detail, day by day, hour by hour, and in
order to cover all that the introduction/commentary section turned
into the longest one to date, and not by just a little. It's almost
23,000 words long, covering over 70 pages. If you want the skinny on
what happened during those explosive months, this is the definitive
last word on the subject.

Also, because these books are being written in chronological fashion
following the history of the show year by year, we decided to move
Sleeping in Light into this volume...so you get Deconstruction,
Sleeping in Light, and the season 5 debut, No Compromises, and four
others.

The one thing I can promise is that folks are going to be talking
about this volume for a very, very long time...and many things not
previously understood or debated about will be set to rights and
explained, once and for all.

jms

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Post by Qray »

Lots of teasers in that last update, Sindatur.

A very well known Marvel comics character and a movie based on a massively influential series of SF novels.

Anyone care to speculate?
I'm going to die the way I've lived...poor, screaming, and naked.

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