Popular comics, movie and television writer J. Michael Straczynski will not be attending next weekend's New York Comic Con for the first time in its four-year history, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing for fans of the former "Amazing Spider-Man" writer and "Babylon 5" creator.
Stracyznski’s script for the Clint Eastwood-helmed, Angelina Jolie period movie “Changeling” has been nominated for Best Original Screenplay at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts Awards, and the author announced today that he'll have to pass up an appearance at the New York show in order to attend that awards ceremony.
"I never in a million years imagined that I might be nominated for a British Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for Changeling," explained Straczynski in a statement released today. "It simply was never on my radar screen."
"I'm devastated at not being able to be at the con, and I send my deepest regrets and apologies to everybody who was looking forward to seeing me," continued Straczynski. "With massive, massive amounts of apologies and bowing and scraping and forelock-tugging, I have no choice but to say that I can't be there for the convention."
Currently scripting Marvel Comics' ongoing “Thor” series, Straczysnki weighed in on Kenneth Branagh directing the upcoming, live-action "Thor" movie last year in an exclusive MTV interview. A prolific comics and screenwriter, Straczynski has just completed an adaptation of Max Brooks’ uber-popular zombie novel “World War Z,” for Brad Pitt’s Plan B production house, and is currently in the process of re-making the sci-fi classic, “Forbidden Planet.”
The news was announced today by New York Comic Con via the following press release:
New York Comic Con (NYCC) today announced that Guest of Honor J. Michael Straczynski will no longer be able to participate in its 2009 event. Straczynski, a writer noted for creating the television series Babylon 5 and writing the recent feature film Changeling, had to cancel his New York Comic Con appearance due to Changeling's script's nomination for a British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) Award and his need to be in England during the entirety of the convention for BAFTA events. New York Comic Con takes place February 6-8 in the Jacob Javits Center in New York, NY. Guests of Honor include Brian Michael Bendis, Carmine Infantino, Geoff Johns, Takashi Miike, Grant Morrison, and Bruce Timm and Special Guests include Seth Green, Jackson Publick, J.J. Sedelmaier, and Art Spiegelman.
Changeling has been nominated in several BAFTA categories including Best Director, Best Cinematography, Best Editing, Best Costume Design, and Best Original Screenplay. Other Best Original Screenplay nominations include Burn After Reading, I've Loved You So Long, In Bruges, and Milk. Winners will be announced during a ceremony on Sunday, February 8 in London, England. For more on BAFTA, please visit www.bafta.org.
"I never in a million years imagined that I might be nominated for a British Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for Changeling," Straczynski said. "It simply was never on my radar screen. I'm devastated at not being able to be at the con, and I send my deepest regrets and apologies to everybody who was looking forward to seeing me. With massive, massive amounts of apologies and bowing and scraping and forelock-tugging, I have no choice but to say that I can't be there for the convention."
"I and everyone involved with New York Comic Con are saddened that Mr. Straczynski will be unable to attend our 2009 event," Show Manager Lance Fensterman said. "However, we have put together an amazing show with profound guests, and new announcements are made almost daily. We regret that JMS won't be able to be with us this year, but we universally wish him the best of luck and hope he brings home a BAFTA Award!"
For further details about NYCC, please visit the official site at www.newyorkcomiccon.com or official blog at www.mediumatlarge.net.
ABOUT J. MICHAEL STRACZYNSKI:?J. Michael Straczynski has written for every medium except poetry, at which he sucks. In comics, he's written for Marvel books including The Amazing Spider-Man, Thor, and Fantastic Four and his DC works include The Brave and the Bold and a project he can't talk about yet. A former journalist for The Los Angeles Times, TIME, and other publications, he has also worked in television, creating Babylon 5, Crusade, and Jeremiah and working as a writer/producer on Murder, She Wrote, Twilight Zone, and others. He has recently begun working in film, writing Changeling for Clint Eastwood and Angelina Jolie, Lensman for Ron Howard, They Marched Into Sunlight for Tom Hanks and Paul Greengrass, Ninja Assassin for the Wachowski Brothers and Joel Silver, Forbidden Planet for Warner and Joel Silver, and World War Z for Brad Pitt's company, Plan B.
ABOUT NEW YORK COMIC CON:?New York Comic Con is the East Coast's biggest and most exciting popular culture convention. Our show floor plays host to the latest and greatest in comics, graphic novels, anime, manga, video games, toys, movies, and television. Our panels and autograph sessions give fans a chance to interact with their favorite creators. Our screening rooms feature sneak peeks at films and television shows months before they hit either big or small screens. And with dedicated professional hours, New York Comic Con is a market place, bringing together the major players in the entertainment industry. New York Comic Con is the second largest pop culture convention in America and the only one that takes place in the comic book, publishing, media, and licensing capital of the world -- Gotham City. Further information can be found at newyorkcomiccon.com.
ABOUT REED EXHIBITIONS:?The New York Comic Con is operated by Reed Exhibitions, the world's leading events organizer. In 2007, Reed brought together over six million industry professionals from around the world generating billions of dollars in business. Today, Reed events are held in 38 countries throughout the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia and organized by 39 fully staffed offices. Reed Exhibitions is part of Reed Elsevier Group plc, a FTSE-100 company and world-leading publisher and information provider. In 2006, Reed Elsevier made adjusted profit before taxation of £1,052 million on turnover of £5,398 million.
Bummed about missing JMS at NYCC? Psyched about "Changeling" getting honored by BAFTA? Confused by all of the acronyms getting thrown around here? Let us know what you think in the comment section!