NBC was hoping to launch a reboot of ‘Xena: Warrior Princess’ in 2015, under the pen of ‘Lost’ scribe Javier Grillo-Marxuach, and with original producers Rob Tapert and Sam Raimi on board. The new version was reportedly going to explore the relationship between Xena and her partner Gabrielle in a more romantic nature than what was allowed to be depicted on the original series. But by 2017, things had failed to work out and NBC abandoned the idea.
But now, with Grillo-Marxuach’s blessing, the script for the pilot has been released online by the Facebook group Xena Movie Campaign.
As most recall, ‘Xena: Warrior Princess’ was a spin-off from ‘Hercules: The Legendary Journeys’, so it’s fitting that Hercules factors heavily in this pilot script. But the events of the story make it so that further team-ups between the pair would be unlikely. The opening scene effectively establishes Xena as the mightiest warrior around, but it may be hard to get through some later developments when she doesn’t fare so well.
Last year, when NBC announced that they were not pursuing the ‘Xena’ reboot, network president Jennifer Salke said:
“Nothing is happening on that right now. We looked at some material; we decided at that point that it didn’t warrant the reboot. I’d never say never on that one because it’s such a beloved title, but the current incarnation of it is dead.”
So there is still the possibility that NBC will bring back ‘Xena’ for a new generation, but it sounds as though they are looking for a creator that has a completely fresh, unique take on the character.
Personally speaking, I am not opposed to a ‘Xena’ reboot, but NBC is NOT the place for it. That network has a dismal track record when it comes to genre programming. If their sci-fi/fantasy/horror series don’t become across-the-board, mainstream crossover smashes, they get axed with no hesitation.
Would you still like to see a ‘Xena’ reboot? After reading the script, what do you think? Was this the right approach?