Wednesday, June 28, 2006

B5 creator's thriller next for Ron Howard?

Back in the early and mid 90s, Babylon 5 gave science fiction TV a good, solid kick up the arse. Creator J. Michael Straczynski proved you could take the layered complexity of a novel and apply it to the small screen. Despite being tucked away on minor US channels, Babylon 5 helped popularise the notion of year-long story arcs and serial storytelling on TV. [Steven Bochco's Murder One attempted the same thing in the mainstream and got burned after two seasons.] Such concepts are now massively in vogue, as evidenced by the success of 24, Lost and an ever-increasingly slew of clones. Since Babylon 5 ended Straczynski has continued working in TV and become a significant comics scribe as well. Now Variety reports he's making inroads with feature films too...
Universal Pictures and Imagine Entertainment have purchased J. Michael Straczynski's thriller The Changeling, which is being eyed by Ron Howard to direct. Project, to be produced by Brian Grazer, joins the shortlist of pics Howard is considering as his next endeavor.

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