Xena: Warrior Princess is officially in the works at NBC.
NBC Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt has confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter that the network is moving forward with a reboot of the series, which ran from September 1995 to June 2001, originally a spinoff from Hercules. The show starred Lucy Lawless as Xena, a warrior looking for redemption after committing horrible acts of violence. She’s joined by Gabrielle (Renée O’Connor), who helps Xena as they fight against gods and monsters.
At the Television Critics Association summer press tour party, Greenblatt told THR, “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.”
As for whether this would be a straight-up reboot/remake or possibly a sequel, Greenblatt demured a bit. “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.”
Original executive producers Sam Raimi and Rob Tapert are back to develop the new show for NBC Universal, and sources say the new Xena will have the personality of Lawless’ version, along with the smarts of Katniss Everdeen (The Hunger Games protagonist). However, there’s been no news on Lucy Lawless’ involvement.
“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,” Greenblatt said. The exec is open to Lawless participating in the show in some way, whether she returns to the role of Xena or not.
Lawless was pushing for a reboot at San Diego Comic Con, telling HitFix, “They’ve gotta bring that back. I’ve been pitching that show this weekend, because even in the Ash thing — which is not necessarily a cross-over with my traditional audience — there’s a swell of interest still, and I’m always being peppered with the question ‘When’s the Xena movie coming?'”
Word is that the production is courting a writer, but no information on their top choice.
The original show was created by Tapert (Lawless’ husband) and John Schulian, and produced by Tapert along with Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell’s Renaissance Pictures. Lawless is currently starring opposite Campbell in Ash vs. Evil Dead.