'Xena: Warrior Princess' is getting a TV and comic book reboot, but the canon is getting a good shake-up!
Sorry guys, Lucy Lawless is out for this one! The Xena: Warrior Princess reboot is being helmed by creators Javier Grillo-Marxuach and Genevieve Valentine and is headed to NBC. It will feature an entirely new cast, new canon, and a so-called fix to one apparently major problem: costumes! In an extensive Q&A with io9, the pair revealed their plans to toss the canon around like a salad, and fix the very unlikely skimpy costumes that managed to somehow stay on Xena and her pal, Gabrielle, while they kicked bad-guy butt.
Xena followed the legendary warrior Xena as she set out to use her impressive skill set to right her past of wrongs by defending the innocent and suffering alongside her farm girl friend turned Amazon warrior, Gabrielle. The role shot the blue-eyed and beautiful Lucy Lawless to instant fame after spinning off from the hit series Hercules: The Legendary Journeys starring Kevin Sorbo. It was an important role on television, and one of the first to showcase a strong Hercules-esque woman figure.
Creator Grillo-Marxuach makes some fair points about the important upcoming changes for his reboot. He mentions Game of Thrones, and how it changed how woman warriors are portrayed, in a good way, on TV. The show will also have a very Hunger Games-style vibe when it comes to the climate, and will not follow the same episodic style of the original.
“I’m really looking forward to remixing the canon a little bit. One big thing is that we are telling a much more serialized story than the show ever tackled—so formally we are already treading some very different ground—and while the characters will occupy roughly the same thematic spaces they did in the original, some of their backstories will be changed, and some of their morality will be tweaked so that we can tell a long-arcing story in which every episode leads directly into the next. It’s a delicate balancing act: You want to please the fans of the old and attract a new audience, who maybe only know the name of the show, with a story that will draw them in, regardless of their frame of reference—and one of the things I really insisted on in my pitch was telling an epic story that would be bingeable—but still feature several of the legacy characters in a way that makes sense to the totality of the story. So in answer to your question, that’s the one thing I REALLY wanted to mess with…
If the canon shake-up is freaking you out, don't let it, he goes on to explain the changes that make sense and are necessary for TV today.
Still, it’s interesting because the communications I get from the fans make it sound like we are going to throw everything out and make it into the Jem and the Holograms version of Xena. People have been asking me if it’s going to be set in the modern day (if that were the case, I wouldn’t have signed on or come near the thing) and whether or not Xena is going to have a Chakram (to which I always reply ‘Of course she’s gonna have a Chakram, what am I, a monster?’). As you mentioned, a great deal of the appeal of the show lies in certain pulpy elements—like Gabrielle’s bare midriff, Xena’s leather miniskirt, Callisto’s amazing and gravity-defying... well, you get it—and it’s hard for me in the post-Brienne of Tarth era to reconcile with the idea that Xena and her friends can meet every challenge in such skimpy outfits.
As for Xena and Gabrielle's relationship that clearly struck a chord with fans and audiences? The showrunners confirm, Xena and Gabrielle are soulmates, and they aren't breaking that bond!
I think we are going to have some very lengthy discussions about how to bring those elements into the present day without missing the boat on what makes Xena exactly what she is; and how to have our cake and eat it too. There are a few things that are sacrosanct: the Chakram and the quarterstaff, of course, Gabrielle’s ambition to become a bard, and—most importantly—that Xena and Gabrielle be soul mates. Like I said, I’m not monster.”
Ok, I am down with these changes, it sounds like the showrunners aren't planning on fixing what's not broken, just adjusting it for modern audiences. Xena first aired over 20 years ago after all! Now the question is, who on Earth is worthy to take the coveted role, and do it RIGHT?! Fan cast away! Oh, and if you aren't yet excited about the reboot, watch the original Xena opening credits, the song alone gives me goosebumps! I am SO READY!