‘Xena’ Reboot to ‘Fully Explore’ Gabrielle Relationship, Not Just Subtext
Among many aspects of the original Xena revered by fans, there was the layered, lifelong relationship between Lucy Lawless’ title character and Renee O’Connor’s Gabrielle that grew to carry distinct romantic undertones. NBC’s proposed reboot has only a script in the works for now, but promises to fully explore the pair’s relationship, without confining anything to subtext.
As we’ve seen multiple times previously, writer Javier Grillo-Marxuach took to tumblr to answer fan inquiries of the new NBC iteration, one in particular tying the core Xena relationship to the writer’s recent controversial outing of The 100. There, a fan-favorite bisexual relationship between two leading female characters ended in tragedy, drawing ire from a number of viewers, to which Grillo-Marxuach explained how the reaction might influence writing Xena and Gabrielle:
i am a very different person with a very different world view than my employer on the 100 - and my work on the 100 was to use my skills to bring that vision to life.
xena will be a very different show made for very different reasons. there is no reason to bring back xena if it is not there for the purpose of fully exploring a relationship that could only be shown subtextually in first-run syndication in the 1990s. it will also express my view of the world - which is only further informed by what is happening right now - and is not too difficult to know what that is if you do some digging.
If NBC opts to move forward, Grillo-Marxuach will executive produce the new series alongside Sam Raimi and Bob Tapert, creative duo behind the original series. In first reports, the new Xena was envisioned with the charisma and charm of original series star Lucy Lawless, and the smarts of The Hunger Games’ Katniss, a sophisticated and smart superhero for a new generation.
Grillo-Marxuach definitely sounds like he has both the series and fans’ best interests at heart, so what should we hope to see from the new Xena, should NBC move forward?