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Movie Adaptation

[Rising Stars] follows the events after the small town of Pederson, Illinois, is struck by a mass of energy from an unknown, but non-terrestrial source. Everyone who was in utero at the time of the flash is affected, resulting in 113 individuals who develop abilities of a most unusual and highly individual form. (The power is to some degree shaped by who they are, just as they are shaped to some degree by the power.)

To read more about why this comic series remains unfinished, please visit our JMS Comics forum or read JMS' comments on our Rising Stars Act 3 page.

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Rising Stars: Born In Fire
Movie Adaptation
If you haven't heard, J. Michael Straczynski wrote a script for MGM and Atlas Entertainment which will hopefully become a major motion picture adaptation of his popular comic book series. Comic adaptations are hot right now so let's hope this project comes to fruition. JMS has been talking about this project for quite some time so that might be all you see here for a while.

From what we can tell, the script JMS wrote is based off the first act (Born In Fire) from his hit comic series, Rising Stars. If sucessful, it could eventually become a trilogy with each movie based on a different act from the series.

[Matt] Hawkins [of Top Cow] said situations with J. Michael Straczynski have been resolved, and the remaining three Rising Stars issues will come out next summer. Hawkins also said the movie deal with MGM for Rising Stars has been reupped.

In summary, it appears that JMS has been shut out of the movie making process and it looks like Top Cow is to blame. There is some talk about JMS not having received payment from the various merchandising ventures done by Top Cow as well. So, apparently JMS is holding on to the last three issues of Rising Stars in order to have some sort of bargaining chip in the days ahead.

For the full account of the events as reporter and rumor monger Rich Johnston describes in the "RISE AND FALL" section of his column, go here.

I can't argue with the events as you've described them. That's what happened. Suffice to say that it was a shock and disappointment to find that Top Cow would so deliberately and deceptively cut me out of the process. I mean, it's one thing to lie so blatantly, but another to tell a stupid lie that can be so easily punctured. As for the screenplay, to be fair to the Russos, it's actually closer to the original books in a few places than my draft was, but the rest is a complete disaster, and if it were to go forward as is, I would really have no choice but to totally disassociate myself with the project.

I've asked Top Cow for three things: for Dream Police back, since they've had it now for 3 years and have done nothing with it...for confirmation that the Joe's Comics title belongs to me, and for an apology for deliberately keeping me out of the loop on my own project at the feature stage and misleading me about drafts that had come in.

Once those three things have been attended to, I can finish the series.

BTW, for those who've been asking about Rising Stars, if you go over to you'll get a pretty good answer.

I've been told the writer/directors doing the dust-up on Rising Stars: The Movie are progressing well, and I keep hearing about this thing shooting sometime later this year, but that's strictly unofficial until somebody tells me on the record.

[Someone asks if it was JMS' decision to have the script re-written by Anthony and Joe Russo. Read the article for more information.]

No, this is pretty much par for the course for features, which is why I don't generally work there. Unless you're a writer/director, every script for every movie these days goes through diverse hands...writer a does the first draft, they give it to writer b for additional material, it goes to writers c and d for touch-ups, the director comes on, he has writer e do a few more happens to all movie screenplays these days, even to William Goldman. I did mine, now it's in the hopper. In features you have to learn to walk away from it after you turn in your draft.

[T]he Rising Stars screenplay (which is finally finished and looks like it's heading into actual production for next year)...

The script for the Rising Stars feature is nearly in final shape, and will be going out to directors within the next few weeks. We already have one very well known director (as in oscar winning) interested in directing it, so we'll see. But this is being fast tracked for Summer 2002.

The latest draft of the Rising Stars screenplay, "Born in Fire," went to the producers the other day, and I think we're now in pretty good shape. As it turns out, there was an article in the Hollywood trades about a week or two ago, in which MGM talked to vendors (licensees) about their upcoming films for 2002, and Rising Stars was among thats kinda cool. If the first film works out, they want to commission 2 more and make it into a trilogy that reflects the 3 act structure of the RS comics.

[T]he revised screenplay for the Rising Stars motion picture is in, and the response is extremely encouraging...I'm beginning to think this thing may actually get made....

Film-making is a long process. The first draft is in, I'm currently revising it for a second draft. If all continues to go well, and so far it's gone very well, we could film this sometime in the fall or spring of next year, so it could conceivably be in theaters by next fall/winter. Assuming nothing glitches along the way, and you always have to assume those things.

My first draft screenplay for the Rising Stars movie went in on Christmas day, and the studio reaction has been EXTREMELY positive. I can't say more about this at the moment, but things are looking very good for the long haul on this.

I kind of let things go by the boards a bit while I was working on the main two projects, the Jeremiah 2-hour pilot for Showtime, and the Rising Stars feature for MGM. The former is now in, and we hope to have some kind of response by mid-December. I'm about 2/3rds done with the Rising Stars screenplay, and hope to have that in by the same time, mid-December.

[M]y goal with the Rising Stars screenplay is to get it turned in at the first-draft stage on December 1st, get notes and revise over the holiday break.

Also this week...after writing my first pass on the outline for the Rising Stars feature film (tentatively entitled "Born in Fire"), MGM read the outline, loved it, had a couple of very smart suggestions...and as of Wednesday, I've been put to script.

The Rising Stars movie screenplay will probably be turned in sometime middle or late November.

[W]e closed the deal for me to write the Rising Stars movie for MGM, and now the series deal is now in place.

Per a page one story in today's DAILY VARIETY, MGM has commissioned me to write a RISING STARS movie in a seven-figure deal. I won't be producing this one because a) I have nothing to do with financing it and have never produced a feature film and have no desire to start, and b) I'm going to be too busy because.... [his then unnamed Executive Producer position for Jeremiah]

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Midnight Nation TPB
Midnight Nation TPB
(JMS Comic)
Additional Info

Individual issues of the comics cannot be purchased through the normal book retailers like®. Instead, you can order the individual comics from our recommended and reliable internet retailers.

Also, many thanks goes to JMS Comics for being a great resource! (Note: They are getting a bit outdated)

Finally, a lot of work has gone into the B5 Spoiler Junkies site. It is an informative site but be warned ... it contains LOTS of spoilers!


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