Fresh off news that Lucy Lawless has been floating a potential TV-movie continuation of her cult hit series Xena: Warrior Princess, it seems the studio has some different ideas about what to do with the franchise.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, original producers Rob Tapert (Lawless' husband) and Sam Raimi are involved in a reboot at NBC, which is being described as a “modern” take on the series. Per the report, it seems they’ll be casting a younger actress in the title role — though the creative team apparently does want Lawless to potentially take on a supporting role in the series and have some creative input behind the scenes. Considering Lawless is keen to pick the sword back up herself, we’ll be curious to see how open she is to the idea.
As for the tone of the series, it seems they’re aiming for something with a somewhat more highbrow vibe when compared to the campy-fun original. The report notes the new Xena would have “the charisma and charm of Lawless” combined with ”the smarts of The Hunger Games' Katniss.” They’re eyeing the project as a “sophisticated and smart superhero for a new generation.”
No word on how many episodes they’re considering, though something like 13 episodes could be likely, with a chance toward a pickup for future seasons. The series is apparently on track to potentially hit in 2016.
This is fascinating. We’ve seen studios mine intellectual property before with mixed results, and with The X-Files getting a return trip, it’s not much of a surprise to see studios digging deeper into vintage cult hits. We’d obviously love to see Lawless suit back up and kick butt (even at 47, she still looks the part), but it makes sense the studio would want the brand but not the baggage the original series would bring.
What do you think? Would you like to see a small-screen Xena reboot?
(Via The Hollywood Reporter)