As the hit fantasy series Xena: Warrior Princess nears its 20th Anniversary later this year, The Hollywood Reporter reveals that NBC and NBCUniversal are in the early stages of developing a reboot of the beloved fantasy series. The show is being eyed for a 2016 debut, with original executive producers Sam Raimi and Rob Tapert involved in the project, which is being described as a "modern reboot." Original series star Lucy Lawless is being eyed for a role on screen, as well as behind-the-scenes, possibly as a producer.
It isn't known at this time if the network is eyeing the show for a 13-episode limited series run, or if it would get a full 22-episode season. Insiders say that NBC hopes to turn this into an ongoing series that could potentially run for several seasons. Sources claim that the network want the new Xena to have the "charisma and charm of Lucy Lawless and the smarts of The Hunger Games' Katniss." The project doesn't have any writers attached at this time, and it isn't known what role Lucy Lawless may have on the show. She did reveal in a Comic-Con interview, while promoting Ash Vs. Evil Dead, that she thinks Xena should come back to the airwaves.
"I've been pitching that show because there's a swell of interest still. I'm always being peppered with questions [about] when the Xena movie is coming. Guys, I'm pitching my ass off to make it happen, whether it's with me or not. I think it'd be funny to have a reboot like Ash vs. Evil Dead - like middle-aged Xena in a muumuu with a bad attitude and a smoking habit. Bring [actor] Ted Raimi [who played Joxer] in ... [and maybe] Bruce Campbell. I don't know what the hold-up is; it's about who has got the rights. But that's a piss-poor excuse anymore. Find who has got the rights, freakin' pay it. It's better to have 80 percent of something than 100 percent of nothing. Don't waste this opportunity; reinvigorate that franchise! It's an insane international character. They're fools not to bring it back. It's funny, it's sexy, it's action."
Xena: Warrior Princess ran for six seasons in syndication from 1995 to 2001. 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, 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.
If NBC does pick up the series, it could be the Friday-night companion for the hit series Grimm that they've been searching for. The last three shows which the network tried to pair with Grimm, Dracula, Crossbones and Constantine, were all canceled after just one season. Are you excited that Xena: Warrior Princess may be coming back to the small screen? Let us know what you think.