‘Xena’ Reboot Might Be Limited Series, No Lucy Lawless Cameo (Yet)
NBC’s proposed Xena reboot under LOST writer Javier Grillo-Marxuach doesn’t yet have official pilot order, or even a script, but that hasn’t stopped Grillo-Marxuach from answering persistent inquiry for details on the new series. To wit, we now know that NBC might eye Xena as an “event series” rather than a full fall order, while fans hoping for Lucy Lawless or Renee O’Connor to pass the torch shouldn’t hold their breath … yet.
A detailed blog post from the upcoming Xena: Warrior Princess showrunner answered a wide variety of questions on the reboot’s current state, which notably saw its story outline officially delivered to NBC, in advance of a full script. That said, where the original series could run upwards of 20 episodes each season, Grillo-Marxuach suggested the likelihood of a smaller order to accommodate serialization:
FACT: this version of xena will not be a regular fall series, but more likely a limited “event” style series that will premiere outside of the fall season.
we will most likely have somewhere from eight to thirteen episodes and are planning to tell a serialized story.
Grillo-Marxuach had also debunked previous suggestions that the new Xena would take place in the modern day, stoking fan interest in perhaps seeing Lucy Lawless or Renee O’Connor reprise their roles, or at least appear for a passing of the torch. Not so, (Grillo-Marxuach boarded after a full “reboot” was decided anyway) as the writer likened an appearance to Leonard Nimoy’s presence in the new Star Trek films:
i think as well-intended as [passing the torch] could be, it would not please anyone. i had a strong negative reaction to the use of nimoy in the star trek reboot movies, for example – even though you won’t find a more enthusiastic nimoyan than myself – because it took me out of the narrative and gave me the feeling that what i was watching wasn’t “real,” that somehow, the new, recast characters were still subordinate to the old. it JUST didn’t work for me.
That said, Grillo-Marxuach acknowledged being open to appearances down the line, should it feel “earned.” If NBC opts to move forward, Grillo-Marxuach will both write the script and executive produce the new series alongside Sam Raimi and Bob Tapert, creative duo behind the original series. In first reports, the new Xena was envisioned with the charisma and charm of original series star Lucy Lawless, and the smarts of The Hunger Games’ Katniss, a sophisticated and smart superhero for a new generation.
It’s still early yet, but how does the newer, more serialized Xena seem to be shaping up? Is there a good way to bring in the old cast, without pulling focus?