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Depending on who you ask, it looks like Xena: Warrior Princess might be fighting its way back into the back half of the forefront of popular culture, as NBC has possibly given the show a second chance with a modern reboot set for 2016. It’s unclear who would be involved in the casting, as no one has even been hired to write it yet, though Rob Talpert and Sam Raimi are said to be behind the scenes. They’re supposedly going in a new direction here with the central character, so it’s time for dream casting.
Here are 7 actresses whose addition to a new version of Xena: Warrior Princess would make instant sense. There’s always the chance that NBC would try to go with brand new face to lead a reboot, but we’re really hoping a familiar face makes her way to Greece next year.
Katee SackhoffNBC is reportedly looking for someone with both charm and smarts, and though it’s through mostly intimidating charm, former Battlestar Galactica lead Katee Sackhoff has proven herself to be a captivating presence in several projects , including 24, Riddick and that Power Rangers short. Sackhoff could go full-warrior as Xena. Should Longmire not get another season at Netflix (which is unlikely, because Netflix), this would make for an instant and sensible transition. And would she be blonde or would she go dark? It’s an important question!
Katrina LawIf you’re going to be loving and fighting alongside Spartacus in the TV series, you can’t afford to look weak, which is what made Katrina Law’s slave-turned-battling archer Mira such an interesting take on a female character’s badassery, as it grew with time rather than her just being perfect from the beginning. Considering how stuck on origin stories entertainment is, if a new version would go that way, Law would have instant cred for spinning a realistic arc out of it. And it always helps to be good with a weapon.
Ronda RouseyUFC champion and all-around beast Ronda Rousey isn’t necessarily an actress – she’s had parts in action romps Furious 7 and The Expendables 3 – but this could be a gamechanging role, giving her resume a meaty back-up for when the fighting/destroying people slows down. While there was nothing wrong with the original series’ fight sequences, I’m guessing the action will be pushed in a more realistic and choreographed direction. Rousey knows the ins and outs of fighting, making the hand-to-hand combat aspect sound promising. Giving her a sword and the chakram only gives her more advantages.
Jena MaloneFormer indie starlet Jena Malone is coming into her own on the mainstream side recently, most notably as Johanna Mason in the Hunger Games franchise and her upcoming part in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Malone has played many different kinds of characters over the years – did anybody else see Corn? – with her TV work mostly limited to the period miniseries Hatfields & McCoys. While she’d probably need to work on building herself up to warrior status, Malone can instantly give the character an interesting depth and complexity that others may not.
Danai GuriraSo this might be the most obvious bit of typecasting on this list, as Danai Gurira’s main claim to fame is portraying the katana-wielding survivor Michonne on The Walking Dead. That’s basically all I need, though, because Gurira remains a fun and enjoyably vicious force despite not getting a lot of dialogue or character-based drama. She has morals, and she can destroy heads with swords. If Gurira is proficient with fisticuffs as well, she’s an easy fit for Xena, regardless of which way the story goes.
Ivana Mili?evi?Ivana Mili?evi? has been busy in both TV and film for decades and is recognizable from many roles, but she finally got a chance to truly shine over the past few years on Cinemax’s action-drama Banshee. The daughter of a crime lord, Anastasia/Carrie deals with complicated situations almost constantly, and she has proven time and again that she knows how to fight. Add this action-oriented expertise to the variety of varied personalities in the roles she played in other projects, and I could see Mili?evi? delivering a war cry and putting the death grip on an enemy.
Lucy LawlessWho are we kidding? If there is anyone in the world that could enter the new adventures of Xena: Warrior Princess in the most convincing fashion, it’s going to be the actress that turned the character into a worldwide phenomenon in the first place. Even if it isn’t a continuation of the first run’s arcs, which would require some exposition, just bringing Lawless back as a new version of the character would be great, especially if it’s essentially the same character. But if she’s around in some other form next to any of the other women on this list, I’d be fine with that, too.
Please make this a reality, world that exists.