NBC ‘Xena’ Reboot Won’t Be Modern, Will Take Cue From ‘Game of Thrones’ Brienne
It seemed a particularly NBC move to reboot Xena: Warrior Princess with a modern bent, even with the strong choice of LOST alum Javier Grillo-Marxuach showrunning. Now, Grillo-Marxuach confirms not only that the reboot won’t be set in modern times, but that we can expect classic elements like Gabrielle and the Chakram, as well as a few Game of Thrones-inspired updates.
io9 had NBC’s reboot showrunner Javier Grillo-Marxuach and new Xena comic writer Genevieve Valentine interview one another over their appreciation of the character, in the process dropping a few tidbits of the comings series. For one, Grillo-Marxuach cleared up confusion over the use of “modern” in descriptions of the series (as well as the famous chakram):
[…] The communications I get from the fans make it sound like we are going to throw everything out and make it into the Jem and the Holograms version of Xena. People have been asking me if it’s going to be set in the modern day (if that were the case, I wouldn’t have signed on or come near the thing) and whether or not Xena is going to have a Chakram (to which I always reply “Of course she’s gonna have a Chakram, what am I, a monster?”).
To Brienne of Tarth’s influence on Xena’s classically skimpy costume:
[…] 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 one element that should warm over fans of the original series:
There are a few things that are sacrosanct: the Chakram and the quarterstaff, of course, Gabrielle’s ambition to become a bard, and—most importantly—that Xena and Gabrielle be soul mates. Like I said, I’m not monster.
Grillo-Marxuach will both write the script and executive produce the new series alongside Sam Raimi and 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.
Spun off from Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, the original Xena ran for six seasons from 1995 to 2001, following the redeemed Amazon warrior princess with her trusty sidekick / companion Gabrielle, played by Renee O’Connor.
Grillo-Marxuach also teased a more serialized approach to the series, remixing canon, and taking time to earn some of the meta elements that permeated the original series’ later years, but could the new Xena live up to the old with such a similar setting? How might the updated Xena and Gabrielle relationship unfold differently?