According to Lucy Lawless, a Xena reboot that includes an open and overt relationship between the heroine and sidekick Gabrielle is an exciting prospect, and she has high hopes for it. No, she won’t be a part of it — but she’s spoken with nothing but praise for the project, calling the writer “gifted” and despite resistance from the fan base, supporting the decision to select a new cast.
According to Pink News, the reboot will “fully explore” the romance between Xena and Gabrielle. In fact, writer Javier Grillo-Marxuach declares that a primary purpose of the reboot.
“There is no reason to bring back Xena if it is not there for the purpose of fully exploring a relationship that could only be shown subtextually [sic] in first-run syndication in the 1990s.”
Lawless has been talking to fans on Twitter about the new series since it was just a rumor, back in the summer.
Sorry, friends! news of a #Xena reboot is just a rumor. I’d love it to happen one day but it’s still in the wishful thinking stage.
— Lucy Lawless (@RealLucyLawless) July 20, 2015
What about her returning to the starring role? She has said “[Why] not?” to that notion, but also has shared suggestions of other actresses who could fill the role.
— Lucy Lawless (@RealLucyLawless) July 15, 2015
— Lucy Lawless (@RealLucyLawless) July 29, 2015
Still, fans are already getting excited — and upset. The show’s two main characters will be re-cast, with younger actresses, and a lot of fans aren’t happy about that.
As for Lawless, she told Daily Beast back in November that if the reboot made it to fruition and if she was offered a role, she’d have to consider it. It would depend on how well the series stayed true to what she considers the spirit of the original, and she’s got some guidelines — including that the show can’t be all about the skimpy costumes.
“…if I felt it really honored the show and there was a role that interested me, I may well take it—but I would be much more inclined to do a spoof one-off with the original cast.”
She also says she believes that other cast members would happily join her in that type of project, a Xena spoof if the opportunity arose. If the networks and producers aren’t listening right now, they should be.
— AUSXIP Lucy Lawless (@lucylawlessnet) March 19, 2016
She also told Cinema Blend, months before that interview that she wouldn’t seek the role of Xena.
“I actually couldn’t do it. I’m 47…”
Though the fans may feel strongly about the role, it’s clear the actress herself is not seeking it and is happy for another strong actress to have it instead.
She has joked about the role being passed to someone “younger and prettier,” but in the context of teasing with former co-star Ted Raimi.
@tedraimi I wondered why they never called me. Evidently the want younger, prettier. It’s you, Ted.
— Lucy Lawless (@RealLucyLawless) August 15, 2015
Her final verdict, though, is to declare that she’s really excited about the prospect though she isn’t currently involved with it at all.
The original series, Xena: Warrior Princess ran from 1995 through 2001, starring Lucy Lawless in the title role, with Renée O’Connor as Gabrielle.
[Photo via Hulton Archive/Getty Images]