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 Message
    From: J. Michael Straczynski <71016.1644@compuserve.com>
 Subject: Cast Decline Crusade
      To: CIS  
    Date: 5/27/1998 9:02:00 PM  

Message 1 in thread 

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{original post had no questions}

To clarify:

Jerry was never offered a contract on Crusade. When he
negotiated his deal on "A Call to Arms," WB attempted to get an option
on him for the series, as a matter of due course. They did so for
everyone appearing in the movie, including Jeff and Tracy, since it is
in many ways a set-up for Crusade. This is a pro-forma thing done in
such situations by any studio when they're dealing with a new series
being set up. It doesn't exclude any kind of appearance in Crusade on
a guest basis or more than that.

Frankly, I think Jerry would do better on a per-episode
negotiation (and would be better featured that way) than to get tied up
with an option. And told him so when he approached me for advice on
whether or not to let himself get saddled with an option.

The best possible situation would be a central core of new
characters who can move through the B5 universe, and run into our
familiar characters, on an as-needed basis, as determined by the story.
It gives the story maximum flexibility, and lets the actors negotiate
sort of "a la carte," if you will, which means they'll almost certainly
get more than if they get locked down and have to do X-number of
episodes at a pre-negotiated price.

And that seems to be pretty much what we're heading toward. In
addition, I think we need to have the B5 cast available for a feature
film that is getting more and more probable by the day. That, to be
honest, is where they're finally going to make the kind of money
they've all earned by staying with this show for this long.

jms
    From: J. Michael Straczynski <71016.1644@compuserve.com>
 Subject: Cast Decline Crusade
      To: CIS  
    Date: 5/28/1998 5:53:00 AM  

Message 2 in thread 

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{original post had no questions}

One last follow-up to underline why I suggested Jerry not go for
the option. A CONTRACT is a *guarantee* that you will pay X actor Y
dollars to appear in Z episodes. An OPTION ensure's the studio's
*right* to your services, but does not *guarantee* them. So you can be
under option, and at the last moment, the studio can decide not to
exercise that option...and you get nothing.

Why is this important? Because all of the actors are out now
looking to build on what they've established in their careers over 5
years of B5, with possibilities of leads on other better-paying network
gigs, features, who knows. But if you go to network A and they want
you, but find out that someone else has an option on you that may
preclude you from working for them, then they're going to find someone
else.

An option like this ties you down, with the possibility of not
getting any other work, and in the end may not even be exercised.
Coming hot off the big fifth year promotion, I can see why this might
not be high on someone's list of possibilities.

jms
    From: J. Michael Straczynski <71016.1644@compuserve.com>
 Subject: Cast Decline Crusade
      To: CIS  
    Date: 5/28/1998 7:11:00 AM  

Message 3 in thread 

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{original post had no questions}

As far as I know they'll be handled by WB international, same as
B5.

jms

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