When the plug was pulled on the syndicated run of hit TV series Xena: Warrior Princess back in 2001, legions of fans the world over were left with only the hope of TV reruns and DVD box sets. Sure, there was the odd book or video game tie-in, but those who really just wanted to see Lucy Lawless continue her pursuit of “the greater good” were out of luck. Xena was gone and the fact that the series had consistently ranked among the top in syndicated American TV drama for the duration of its six seasons wasn’t going to make any difference.
As the years passed, Xena’s popularity refused to die – fans continued to celebrate her legacy and hope for a time when their hero could potentially return to them once more. Ted Raimi, who played Joxer the Mighty in the series, recently said that people responded to Xena: Warrior Princess because of characters who were just trying “to muddle their way through as best they can in a bad situation.” This is perhaps the perfect summation of not only the show’s success, but also the dedication of fans in the fifteen years since the series was cancelled.
For those die-hard fans, Xena was never put to rest and because of this, their patience and commitment is about to pay off. For some time, rumours continued to swirl about the possibility of NBC rebooting Xena for a new generation. We now know that this is no longer a rumor - and things have gotten a little sweeter for Xena fans, now that Variety is reporting that Emmy winning producer/writer Javier Grillo-Marxauch (Lost) has signed on to write the new series.
Grillo-Marxauch will also executive produce, alongside Rob Tapert and Sam Raimi, both of whom executive produced the original Xena series and currently executive produce the Ash vs Evil Dead series for Starz. Aside from an intial tweet denying that a Xena reboot was a surefire thing, Xena herself (Lucy Lawless) has stated that she would not be a suitable candidate for a return to the role. Lawless currently stars in Ash vs Evil Dead, alongside former Xena co-star Bruce Campbell.
Whether or not Lucy Lawless or any of the original cast return for the Xena reboot is anyone’s guess. NBC seems to be holding their cards close to their chest on this one. Little by little we learn more about what’s in store and any fan who has high hopes for this reboot should be genuinely pleased to learn that Javier Grillo-Marxauch is on board. A strong writer is central to any successful project – especially a strong writer who's armed with the degree of experience that Grillo-Marxauch has. The fact that so many of the original creators are returning to this reboot also bodes well, as no one knows quite what to do with Xena: Warrior Princess like the people responsible for its rise in the first place.
We’ll keep you up to date on the progress of the Xena: Warrior Princess reboot as more information becomes available.