‘Xena’ Reboot Seeks Writer, NBC Boss Might Want Lawless Back in the Role
Initial word of an NBC Xena reboot was met with skepticism from original star Lucy Lawless, only to turn around and confirm that the network had at least considered the idea. Now NBC brass says writing staff for the reboot have been courted, though Lucy Lawless’ actual involvement might require a surprising condition.
NBC boss Bob Greenblatt confirmed development of a Xena reboot to The Hollywood Reporter, saying “Yes, we’re in the early stages of developing a new take on Xena and we’re looking for a writer. We want to do it.” Greenblatt also offered that the new series wouldn’t pick up with any past continuity, though should Lucy Lawless have an onscreen role, he’d have difficulty imagining her as anyone but Xena herself:
I don’t think it’s just a continuation, but we haven’t gotten that far. I think it’s a great character, and we should try to figure out how to revive it somehow. There is a deal with [Sam Raimi] and Rob Tapert to produce, and it’s with NBC International.
We’d love to have Lucy be a part of it — if we felt that her presence didn’t overshadow the direction we take with it. I’m not sure how she could be part of it if she wasn’t playing Xena, and I don’t know if that’s a direction we’ll ever go.
Envisioned more as a reboot than a straight revival , the updated Xena also had in mind a more modern lead:
Sources say the new Xena would have to have the charisma and charm of Lawless and the smarts of The Hunger Games’ Katniss as producers are said to be looking for a sophisticated and smart superhero for a new generation.
Spun off from Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, the original Xena ran for six seasons from 1995 to 2001, following the redeemed Amazon warrior princess with her trusty sidekick / companion (or more, depending on your fan-fiction) Gabrielle, played by Renee O’Connor.
It’s still early yet, but how should NBC proceed with its vision for a new Xena, with or without Lucy Lawless?