Yes, a TV remake of Xena: Warrior Princess is still happening, and it made one giant leap in the development process. Javier Grillo-Marxuach, who was among the Emmy-winning team behind Lost, has been tapped to write the script for the new series.
The Hollywood Reporter revealed the news and further stipulates that Grillo-Marxuach will also executive produce the new Xena reboot alongside Rob Tapert and Sam Raimi. Plot details are still under wraps at this point, but the trade describes it, based on information gleaned from sources, as a modern re-telling of Xena. The powers that be are reportedly looking for a leading lady who encompasses all the pizzazz of Lucy Lawless and the smarts of Jennifer Lawrence’s Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games. The hope seems to be creating a new super-heroine of sorts for a new generation.
Tapert, who is married to Lawless, created the original series with John Schulian. As the credits triumphantly declared amid scenes of battle-scarred landscapes, Lawless portrayed Xena, “a mighty princess forged in the heat of battle.” The series was a spinoff of the Kevin Sorbo-led Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and took place in the supernatural world of ancient Greece. The show became a beloved cult classic, which is why these cryptic plot details have me a tiny bit worried.
It’s a beautiful thing — and about damn time — that the entertainment industry is crafting meatier roles for women, but as we’ve seen with buzzing trends (e.g. superhero, comic book, and Hunger Games-style adaptations), everyone wants their own versions — even if it’s merely for the sake of having them. At the time, Xena was such an icon of feminism and womanhood on TV with its depiction of the relationship between the heroine and her battle staff-wielding sidekick Gabrielle. My hope is that the reboot honors and continues this legacy.
The Xena reboot is being eyed for 2016.