Update: Lucy Lawless has weighed into the fray. She's still fired up about the possibility of a Xena reboot, but she says it's basically just wishful thinking at this point. Maybe that means this might not happen. Maybe it means she's out of the loop. It's hard to know at this point. You can check out her Tweet below...
Well, hell. That was fast. Less than a week after Lucy Lawless re-publicized her desire to return to the world of Xena: Warrior Princess, it looks like that universe is almost definitely coming back to the small screen. NBC is getting the ball rolling on a reboot version of the show that may or may not tie back into the original series. No armor can shield the network if this turns out to be a terrible idea.
It’ll presumably be a while before we hear anything more concrete about an updated Xena: Warrior Princess, as THR reports that things are still in the early developmental stages, and the search is currently ongoing to find a writer to pen these new adventures. Luckily, this new project isn’t being taken over by newbies, as co-creator Rob Tapert (Lawless’ husband) and executive producer Sam Raimi are both involved in the behind the scenes work.
The biggest question at this point is, of course, what Lucy Lawless will be doing in this new version. She’s not confirmed to actually be involved, but she’s publically said for years that she would be down with returning to the franchise, which was created as a Hercules: The Legendary Journeys spinoff. We know she won’t be the main focus of the action, as they’re of course going to skew younger for the new Xena, but there are plenty of ways for Lawless to continue kicking ass in different capacities. (Don’t remind us that Xena died in the finale, because we just can’t cope.) Recent roles in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and the upcoming Ash vs Evil Dead mean she’s still very much in genre fans’ mindsets.
The way that the new Xena character is being described is hardly a surprise, as the producers apparently want someone who has Lawless’ charm and the brains of The Hunger Games protagonist Katniss, a character that has become something of an icon in the fictional female hero conversation. This show needs for its central character to be striking and enjoyable enough to ensure the series gets a future. Good luck on them finding someone as good as Lawless though.
Because there are basically no details to chew on at this time beyond a tentative 2016 release date, there’s no telling what kind of a series NBC’s Xena would be. They could attempt to tell one encapsulated story through a limited series format with the option to renew it if the ratings are good. Or maybe they’ll want to give it a bigger set of eps and pair it with Grimm on Friday nights to capitalize on that rabid fanbase. I’m not sure which set-up is the most promising.
There are always going to be too many reboots on TV, but this is one that we sincerely hope comes to fruition quickly. Will you guys watch more Xena in the future?