Back in July, we reported that NBC is in the early stages of developing a reboot of the beloved 1995 fantasy series Xena: Warrior Princess. Original Xena: Warrior Princess producers Sam Raimi and Rob Tapert are coming back to produce, and we reported in August that the reboot is seeking writers to tackle the story. Today we have word from Variety that Lost writer Javier Grillo-Marxuach has signed on to write and executive produce this new version of Xena: Warrior Princess.
The original Xena: Warrior Princess debuted in 1995, but Lucy Lawless' title character was originally introduced on another first-run syndicated show, Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, before she got her own spinoff. Renée O'Connor also starred as Xena's companion Gabrielle, with Ted Raimi as Joxer, Bruce Campbell as Autolycus, Marton Csokas as Borias and a young Karl Urban in one of his early roles as Julius Caesar. It remains to be seen if any of the supporting cast members will be asked back for the reboot.
Our earlier report revealed this TV reboot is being eyed for a 2016 debut, and the network is searching for an actress who could combine the charisma and charm of original series star Lucy Lawless, with the smarts of Katniss from The Hunger Games franchise. NBC hopes to turn this into an ongoing series, but it isn't known if the network is eyeing it as a 13-episode limited series run, or if it will get a full 22-episode season. The earlier report also claimed that the network wants to bring original star Lucy Lawless back in some capacity, either as a star or producer.
Lucy Lawless, who is married to producer Rob Tapert, tweeted this summer that the report "was just a rumor," but Bob Greenblatt said he'd be open to the actress being involved behind-the-scenes in some way. The original series ran from 1995 to 2001, spanning six seasons and 134 episodes, and made Lucy Lawless a household name. It isn't known if the network is seeking established actresses for the title role, or if they are seeking unknown actors.
Javier Grillo-Marxuach has written for a number of prominent TV shows such as The Pretender, Charmed, Lost , Medium and, most recently, Helix. It isn't known who will direct the pilot at this time, but it seems possible that Sam Raimi could direct the first episode, like he did with the Starz series Ash Vs. Evil Dead. What do you think about the Xena: Warrior Princess reboot moving forward at NBC?