NBC Consider’s ‘Xena’ Reboot, World Demands Lucy Lawless’ Return
Entertainment executives are heavily favoring reboots over original concepts these days, and fans of Xena: Warrior Princess recently learned that their cult favorite may be next on the development list. Despite its humble beginnings as a Hercules: The Legendary Journeys spin-off, Xena has long held onto its status as beloved series/cosplay inspiration — which makes it ripe for a "re-imagining" in NBC's eyes, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
THR reports that NBC and NBC Universal International are looking to bring a "modern reboot" to your TV screen. It does bode somewhat well that Rob Tapert and Sam Raimi, who co-produced the original, are involved, though a writer has yet to be announced. Also up in the air is the question of what, if any, role Lucy Lawless would play — and Lawless' portrayal of the war cry-whooping Xena, a "mighty princess forged in the heat of battle," was instrumental to the shows' success.
While THR's sources say they'd love to have Ms. Lawless involved, the actress is either playing coy or has yet to receive the memo.
But don't get it twisted — Lawless is totally pro-Xena reboot, and she has her circular Chakram weapons all shined and ready to go. At this year's San Diego Comic Con she told Hitfix, "I'm always being peppered with questions [about] when the Xena movie is coming. Guys, I'm pitching my ass off to make it happen, whether it's with me or not. I think it'd be funny to have a reboot like Ash vs. Evil Dead — like middle-aged Xena in a muumuu with a bad attitude and a smoking habit. … Bring [actor] Ted Raimi [who played Joxer] in … [and maybe] Bruce Campbell." This all sounds great — but why hide Xena's shine in a frumpy muumuu? They're probably doing great things with gold chest plates and burnished leather skirts these days.
THR's sources also say NBC's producers are, quote, "looking for a sophisticated and smart superhero for a new generation" with the "the charisma and charm of Lawless and the smarts of The Hunger Games' Katniss." That's a tall order — and will only be successful if their casting directors truly grasp the magic of the original Xena's pluck — but if Lucy's enthused, we (TENTATIVELY) are too. We also have to wonder: Will the new Xena get a Gabrielle? That 'ship launched a thousand fanfics and YouTube tributes.
Xena fans, for the most part, seem interested in a reboot — but only if Lucy and Renee O'Connor (who played Gabrielle) are attached.
Would YOU watch a Lucy Lawless-free Xena 2.0? And even more importantly, why aren't all of us snuggled up on a couch streaming Xena: Warrior Princess on Netflix right this very minute?