Babylon 5 20th Anniversary Panel from MCM Scotland Comic Con

Bruce signing copies of RISE at MCM Scotland Comic Con with Mira Furlan

TRON star Bruce Boxleitner and Lost actress Mira Furlan both attended the MCM Scotland Comic Con, celebrating the 20th Anniversary of Babylon 5, as well as raising awareness of Bruce’s future television project Lantern City.

At that point in the day all the seats were taken and people started lining the walls of the hall. Bruce and Mira received great applause upon their arrival on stage. The first question came from a young man who knew his stuff, asking if there would have been a chance for show creator Joe Michael Straczynski to direct a Ranger Series spin-off or a Babylon 6 mini series? 

Bruce was overly positive, saying it could be possible, especially if it was Joe. He compared Babylon 5 to J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek reboot, saying, “I think they are very good, I think J.J. Abrams has done a marvellous job re-energizing that franchise. I don’t think that can be done with everything. I personally don’t want to do it again, because I always say for one reason, I don’t want to break anyone’s hearts, but it was a time and it was a place and the people involved, I don’t know if we can recapture that again.”

Mira answered by quoting a sentence from The Great Gatsby“You can’t repeat the past,” she laughed. He says no you can’t and then he dies and it’s a tragic ending.”

Bruce agreed. “It would have to be Joe Straczynski – second to none, to think up somehow, some way to bring a 1990s television series into the 21st century too. Think of what they could do today with the modern CGI with a future Babylon movie, perhaps you know why I’m saying this now. Then five years from now Joe Straczynski reboots it, like J.J. Abrams did, it becomes a movie.”

Mira acknowledged that they’ll need “some extremely young actors and actresses.” 

Bruce agreed pitching that “they’ll find a Chris Pine type character to play Sheridan,” upon which both Bruce and the audience had a wee giggle.

One of the younger audience members asked, “What were your relationships with the other cast members like?”

Bruce started off explaining that it was wonderful and that everyone was treated like one big happy family for the most part. Mira answered, “Yeah, sometimes not so happy,” which made Bruce laugh, “but always a family. It’s a rare thing and actually never happened in my life that we stayed in touch with the actors. Now you’re up in Yugoslavia doing movies and television, you always exchange numbers and addresses. Somehow you move on, that’s our job, that’s the nature of this profession which is upsetting and kind of disturbing, that you’re so close and then you are away and it’s over.”

Bruce lightened the mood with an interesting story about the filming of Babylon 5. “We didn’t shoot on the Warner Brothers lot. We were distributed by Warner Brothers, but we shot out in an old hot tub factory. It was still called Aqua Tech on the front of the building. It was an old factory converted into a sound stage and no one knew where it was, so we were out and away from the industry and when we would have a guest star we’d gather around and find out what it was like on the outside world.” 

Mira commented, “It was romantic actually, although it bothered us at the time. Because we didn’t feel we were happening.”

Bruce agreed, saying, “We didn’t feel part of the Warner Brothers family, we felt like we were step-children, not allowed to come upstairs and join everyone else.”

Towards the end of the panel Bruce started divulging information on Lantern City. “I’m producing this series and who did I think of immediately for a very important role… Mira Furlan. She’s the actress with the gravitas to carry this role…”

After applause from the audience, Mira thanked them and said, “I’m so pleased and so honoured.”

Bruce continued: “She is going to be the matriarch of a dynasty and she has the gravitas and the weight behind her performances to carry that role. It’s in process right now; it’s very much inspired by Babylon 5 in many ways, the structuring of it.”

Lantern City

Bruce sent the orders out to “visit LanternCityTV.com and join up as a citizen and follow. You can see where we are right now.” Their team at the moment consists of Mira Furlan, Trevor Crafts and Matthew Daley. When going into detail about the Lantern City universe, Bruce explained, “It’s very much an alternative steampunk world. I didn’t want to tell you too much about it because I want you to investigate it for yourselves. Please join up, it’s very fan friendly, we need your support…the steampunk community is the maker community, and we are actually embracing the fans who submit, if they are wardrobe people, prop markers.”

Bruce went into further details on how they want the fans to send them their designs and ideas (if possible, they will use them in the series) and how they want the universe to look. “We want to give it a very unusual look because steampunk is left up to the imaginationYou know it when you see it, but everyone has their own interpretation. That’s what’s wonderful about it. Ours is a very specific interpretation of it.”

So if you haven’t already, please go to LanternCityTV.com, sign up, take a look, and let Bruce and his team know what you think!

Bruce encourages fans to Like and Follow the Lantern City Team on all social networks because this is what the TV executives are looking for nowadays: Lantern City Facebook | Lantern City Twitter

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