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NBC Wants to Reboot Xena: Warrior Princess

by William Schwartz

Xena

It’s only early days — very early days — Hollywood Reporter warns us, but Xena: Warrior Princess will be roaring (or should that be ululating?) its way back to our screens as soon as 2016. NBC and NBC Universal International are searching for a writer to work with producers Rob Tapert and Sam Raimi to reboot the beloved cult series. Both are currently working with Bruce Campbell on the upcoming seires Ash vs. the Evil Dead, and have a long history of collaboration that includes the original Xena and stretches back to their college days.

Nobody is likely to be more excited about this reboot than the warrior princess herself, Lucy Lawless. An interview conducted by Hitflix at Comic Con earlier this month, where Lawless appeared to promote Bruce Campbell’s Ash vs. the Evil Dead, saw her making a passionate case for the show’s return. “I’m always being peppered with questions [about] when the Xena movie is coming.” Lawless said. “Guys, I’m pitching my ass off to make it happen, whether it’s with me or not. … I don’t know what the hold-up is; it’s about who has got the rights,” she added. “But that’s a piss-poor excuse. Find who has got the rights, freakin’ pay it. It’s better to have 80 percent of something than 100 percent of nothing. Don’t waste this opportunity; reinvigorate that franchise!”

It’s hard to come up with a spin-off that eclipsed its source material more thoroughly than Xena: Warrior Princess did to Hercules: The Legendary Journeys. Xena originally appeared across a handful of Hercules episodes as a character who was slated to die at the end of her story arc. Fan reaction to her and to Lucy Lawless was so overwhelmingly positive that a show was instead created to chronicle her adventures as a troubled warlord trying to atone for her vicious past. Xena: Warrior Princess ran for six successful seasons before concluding in a two-part finale. The finale ended with Xena’s death, this time for keeps, which is perhaps why NBC are considering a reboot instead of a sequel.

Besides Tapert and Raimi’s return, there’s precious little information on just who will be involved with the reboot. It is, however, a pretty safe bet to say that Lucy Lawless will be in the thick of it, whether it’s a behind the scenes role, a cameo, or reprising her iconic role. Similarly, Bruce Campbell and Ted Raimi, who played supporting character Autolycus and Joxer in Xena: Warrior Princess, are likely to be involved in some way.

In the meantime, I think I’m going to install this Xena companions mod for Skyrim and bide my time until we hear more.

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