Jump to content

The World on Fire


Orodromeus

Recommended Posts

Anyone remember this? The failed cooperation between two of the greatest series developers of TV series, JM Straczynski (Babylon 5) and Chris Carter?

https://worldsofjms.com/projects.htm

The World on Fire

(Updated 01 June 2004)

Joe Straczynski and Chris Carter (The X-Files) were developing a Straczynski idea called The World on Fire. The complex negotiations required the participation of several parties. At the very last minute, Fox backed out of the deal. Carter's most recent project, Harsh Realm was cancelled, and Fox blamed this on the fact that Carter had developed it from someone else's idea. Fox wanted Carter's next project to be 100% his.

Straczynski is no longer marketing The World on Fire as a series. The story was about America's next war that begins with an attack on New York City. With the events of September 11, 2001, the real world has already overtaken Straczynski's fiction.

https://www.scifi.com/scifiwire/art-tv.html...-12/03/13.07.tv

1:07pm ET, 3-Dec-99

Straczynski Says CBS Deal Is Off

Babylon 5 creator J. Michael Straczynski confirmed that Fox Studios put the kibosh on his deal with The X-Files creator Chris Carter to develop a new series called The World on Fire for CBS. Straczynski told SCI FI Wire that Fox, which was producing World for CBS, decided that any new Carter show should be "100 percent" Carter.

"CBS had entered negotiations with Fox for the show, The World on Fire, which was about 90 percent mainstream, 10 percent SF, and was only about a day or so away from concluding the deal--they were just haggling over the per-episode license fee, and were prepared to commit to a pilot production--when [Carter's] Harsh Realm got canceled and it all went kablooey," Straczynski said. "Fox Studios (as opposed to the network) has a $2 billion franchise and investment with Chris, and they need to guard that in the face of what was, really, a rebuke."

In a Usenet post, Straczynski said, "The irony of course is that if Harsh Realm had been canceled even a week later, we would've concluded the deal with CBS for the show I'd created and which Chris, [X-Files producer] Frank Spotnitz and I would executive produce."

The partnership originally came together when Carter's Ten Thirteen Productions contacted Straczynski after the cancellation of the Babylon 5 spinoff Crusade on TNT, Straczynski said.

The World on Fire has reverted to Straczynski, who said he's "pursuing other avenues for the project." He also said he harbors no ill feelings toward Carter or Spotnitz. "In my years in the biz, I have rarely enjoyed a partnership with anyone as much as with Chris and Frank, who are not only stand-up guys, but in all of our discussions I don't think a single idea got broached that didn't make sense," he said.

"Their approach is the same we had at B5: you check your ego at the door and do what's best for the story. I have nothing but good things to say about them, and even though Fox felt that they needed to go forth only with 100 percent CC after HR was canceled (the logic being that it didn't work because Chris didn't actually create it), I consider the experience a positive one," Straczynski said. "They're good people over there at Ten Thirteen."

JMS on https://www.jmsnews.com/

>IIRC, development season should be starting around now. Any plans on dusting

>off "Polaris" and/or "World on Fire" and pitching them again?

Polaris is still making the rounds, so we'll see what happens on that front.

"Wofld on Fire" is not do-able anymore because the events of the world caught

up with the story. (Essentially, it was about the events leading up and

following America getting into its next war, starting with an attack on New

York. Very eerily, nearly everything that was in the script and the planned

series has now happened, so the show is now a moot issue.)

Now this is one thing I'm very sad about... Real world politics, the modern day world veering from peaceful times to war, all helmed by Straczynski & Carter after their respective series (Crusade and Harsh Realm) were cancelled... Imagine how awesome that would have been! I mean I certainly don't rejoice over 9/11 or anything, but a fiction series on these themes would have a lot to say.

Anybody has any more information on this?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 6
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

I agree with you Oro, I think is one of those tantalising projects that had the potential to be great TV. From the scant description it has shades of 'Jericho' and whilst my irk with 'Jericho' is that it takes something 'high concept' and treats with an lightness of touch normally found on daytime soap operas I am sure Carter would have had no reticence in giving us something more political, substantial and visceral.

Best wishes,

Eth

josew.gif

style5,Little-spc-Roedecker.png

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Elders (Admins)

I had read some bits about that project but hadn't heard that it involved an attack on New York. I can well imagine how it wouldn't be possible to sell that idea these days. I have seen a little of Jericho and it didn't impressed me, although I have thought to try it again because adverts running on TV at the moment show that D.B. Sweeney was in some episodes and I did like him in Harsh Realm. I think disaster or post-apocalyptic stories are more and more difficult to do these days because TV can do a lot more in terms of CGI and advanced filming techniques are concerned, and so many people don't understand the concept of "less is more", which is something CC and JMS both excelled at, and tend to either go overboard with all the fancy things they can do, or, as ethsnafu says, turn it in to a daytime soap opera.

I've just looked up "Crusade" on imdb. I really must sign up for one of those DVD-rental deals. Can anyone in the UK recommend one? Amazon uk are now outsourcing to another organisation with a crappy name (LOVEFiLM - sounds like Mills & Boon!).

Libby

"Humans need fantasy to be human. To be the place where the falling angel meets the rising ape." Terry Pratchett

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Laurent.

First point,

that is just another reason for me to feel sad about HR's cancellation.

Second point,

it's kind of ironic since "Carter's next project" after HR was The Lone Gunmen which was almost completely developed by Spotnitz, Gilligan and Shiban. Far from being a 100% Carter.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Elders (Admins)
I had read some bits about that project but hadn't heard that it involved an attack on New York. I can well imagine how it wouldn't be possible to sell that idea these days. I have seen a little of Jericho and it didn't impressed me, although I have thought to try it again because adverts running on TV at the moment show that D.B. Sweeney was in some episodes and I did like him in Harsh Realm. I think disaster or post-apocalyptic stories are more and more difficult to do these days because TV can do a lot more in terms of CGI and advanced filming techniques are concerned, and so many people don't understand the concept of "less is more", which is something CC and JMS both excelled at, and tend to either go overboard with all the fancy things they can do, or, as ethsnafu says, turn it in to a daytime soap opera.

I've just looked up "Crusade" on imdb. I really must sign up for one of those DVD-rental deals. Can anyone in the UK recommend one? Amazon uk are now outsourcing to another organisation with a crappy name (LOVEFiLM - sounds like Mills & Boon!).

Hi Libby,

I have a voucher code for LoveFilm I'll dig it out for you. Free unlimited rentals for the the first month or something.

Graham

  • Thank you for not contributing to the spread of fake or inaccurate content, speculation or false information especially in relation to current worldwide health events.
  • Need help? For technical related issues, please use our Support Forum.
  • To report spam or inappropriate content, please use the Report option which flags all community Elders and autohides the content if multiple reports are received before site staff can respond directly.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think disaster or post-apocalyptic stories are more and more difficult to do these days because TV can do a lot more in terms of CGI and advanced filming techniques are concerned, and so many people don't understand the concept of "less is more", which is something CC and JMS both excelled at, and tend to either go overboard with all the fancy things they can do, or, as ethsnafu says, turn it in to a daytime soap opera.

We're still in the period where the "human entertainment industy" is discovering and overusing CGI, like a new tool that's cool and has to be used everywhere. Eventually (I hope) people will get bored of it and there will be more creative stuff.

Re: Jericho: I haven't seen it. Too bad for the soap opera elements... The miraculous 7-episode second season didn't manage to save it from cancellation after all it seems? I haven't seen JMS's other series either, "Jeremiah" -- which is post-apocalyptic as well. Any word on that one?

I've just looked up "Crusade" on imdb. I really must sign up for one of those DVD-rental deals. Can anyone in the UK recommend one? Amazon uk are now outsourcing to another organisation with a crappy name (LOVEFiLM - sounds like Mills & Boon!).

"Crusade" was promising. Like HR got cancelled after a first batch of episodes before they all aired. It even has one episode that's a full-out parody of the X-Files, only reversed: the truth-seekers and the conspiracy are aliens, and the portrayed bad guys who make abductions are the humans. Complete with cigarette-smoking alien, secret military bases and catch phrases about covering up the truth!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest SouthernCelt

Since I was big follower of Jericho, I feel compelled to come to its defense.

As to the soap opera elements, all of them had connection to the bigger plot which included a lot of interpersonal relationships and not just everybody pulling together in bad times. I think a couple of the love affairs were perhaps developed further than needed but in the first season I think they were trying to give the "shippers" something to connect to since a lot of those viewers don't care about the more important aspects of survival following a nuclear attack and the "Lord of the Flies" aspects of what people will resort to when faced with dire times and an absent of guiding powers.

For any of you that have followed the real-life elements of the US involvement in the Middle East and particularly the use of contractors for security and possible black-ops tasks, Jericho hit pretty close to home on a characterization of how such private forces can go terribly wrong when under the control of devious people and "king of the world" wannabes. Along the same lines, the show did a good job of showing how trying to invoke a martial law situation in a town that had pulled itself back by its bootstraps will be fraught with difficulties and bad decisions. For example, when a town has had to reconstitute its law enforcement to prevent violence among disagreeing individuals, a third party can't come in and take over those duties w/o getting resistance.

I thought the casting for most of the speaking roles was well thought out (and Libby, Sweeney makes a very ruthless character who can project a total disregard for human life) although a few of them may have overacted a bit at times. I wish when an actor has difficulty crying believably, they'd just write the character to project sadness w/o requiring them to sob since that often sounds to the viewer like they're laughing.

In the first season they used a number of flashbacks a la Lost with major characters to bring the viewer on board with character aspects that had been hinted at but not explained. In some cases, details from these flashbacks didn't come at what I thought would have been the best time.

There have been better series in both story and presentation, but it did appeal to my partiality to doomsday scenario fiction so I was able to overlook some of the weaknesses.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now



×
×
  • Create New...