We haven’t heard much on the planned Xena: Warrior Princess reboot since Lost writer Javier Grillo-Marxuach joined as the writer and executive producer, alongside Rob Tapert and Sam Raimi. But now, a new interview with Grillo-Marxuach has revealed quite a bit of behind-the-scenes details as to the development of the rebooted series.
In an iO9 interview between the “Xena” comics writer Genevieve Valentine and the new showrunner Grillo-Marxuach, a lot of new information about the reimagined TV show emerged. There’s a lot to unpack from the discussion, so we’ve pulled a few choice quotes that should interest new and returning fans of the Warrior Princess alike. If you want to know what the plans are for the show’s format, costuming, and cast, then you’re in for a treat.
While the previous iteration of the show was episodic in nature with self-contained stories told in each hour, it looks like the new version will have a more serialized plan, according to Grillo-Marxuach:
“One big thing is that we are telling a much more serialized story than the show ever tackled. So formally we are already treading some very different ground – and while the characters will occupy roughly the same thematic spaces they did in the original, some of their backstories will be changed, and some of their morality will be tweaked so that we can tell a long-arcing story in which every episode leads directly into the next. It’s a delicate balancing act.”
Perhaps the most obvious change will be the visual appearance of the title character and her fellow fighters-in-arms, since the iconic yet skimpy costumes probably won’t fly in a post-Brienne of Tarth world:
“A great deal of the appeal of the show lies in certain pulpy elements – like Gabrielle’s bare midriff, Xena’s leather miniskirt, Callisto’s amazing and gravity-defying… well, you get it. And it’s hard for me in the post-Brienne of Tarth era to reconcile with the idea that Xena and her friends can meet every challenge in such skimpy outfits. I think we are going to have some very lengthy discussions about how to bring those elements into the present day without missing the boat on what makes Xena exactly what she is; and how to have our cake and eat it too.”
And though longtime fans of Xena were probably hoping to see Lawless back in the saddle, she’s probably not going to be reclaiming the title for this new show:
“…Lucy Lawless and Renee O’Connor are not going to be Xena and Gabrielle. That already has a lot of people in an uproar. The question of reboot vs. revival is a very relevant now that The X-Files has been revived with the original cast, and so has Star Wars… and because the die hard fans want to see their beloved actors in the role. And look, I love these actors in these roles as much as I love William Shatner as Kirk, Sean Connery as Bond, and Lynda Carter as Diana Prince – so why does this need to be a reboot and not a continuation?
“The answer for me is that the reboot is not a repudiation of the classic show, but rather a compliment to it. I want for Xena to be a cultural icon for longer than my tenure in the entertainment industry, or that of anyone else involved with the project. If, in some far future, people assume that Xena is a character from the greek mythological pantheon alongside Hercules, and that’s why so many people have played her over so many years? That right there would be success.”
Let us know what you think of these planned changes to Xena for the reboot in the comments below!