It's been just over two years since NBC announced a Xena: Warrior Princess reboot, but we haven't heard much about the project since then. It turns out there's a good reason for the lack of updates, since the project is currently dead. NBC Entertainment president Jennifer Salke confirmed in a recent interview that the project in its current incarnation is in fact dead. Here's what she had to say in the interview below.
"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."
The Hollywood Reporter revealed that the status of this project comes after writer Javier Grillo-Marxuach (Lost) left the project in April, citing creative differences with the network. The writer-producer has suggested in the past that his vision for the reboot would explore the romantic relationship between Xena and Gabrielle, played by Lucy Lawless and Renée O'Connor. While no specifics were given about the creative differences, it's possible that the network didn't see eye to eye with the writer about this romance between Xena and Gabrielle.
Lucy Lawless revealed in 2003 that the memorable kiss between Xena and Gabrielle in the series finale revealed that they were in fact romantically involved. Before leaving the series, Javier Grillo-Marxuach revealed in a March 2016 interview that, "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 in first-run syndication in the 1990s." After the writer revealed he had left the project in April, he released the following statement about the project.
"I'm heartbroken to have left the Xena project over insurmountable creative differences. The character is dear to me, and to millions of fans worldwide, and I truly believe that now, more than ever, a land in turmoil cries out for a hero. I truly hope that the alchemy of creative elements that has to come together to make possible either a reboot or revival of this amazing property will someday coalesce, and that Xena will return in a way that does honor to what came before while looking to the future."
There was also a report that this new Xena reboot will ditch the skimpy costumes, but now that this reboot isn't moving forward, that point may be moot. Still, Jennifer Salke acknowledged the Xena reboot still could happen eventually, stating that, "I need someone to come in with a point of view about what they want to do." Original series co-creator Rob Tapert and executive producer Sam Raimi were on board to oversee the NBC International Television Studios reboot, through their Ghost House Pictures banner. The original series followed Xena, a mighty Warrior Princess with a dark past, sets out to redeem herself. She is joined by small town bard, Gabrielle. Together they journey the ancient world and fight for the greater good against ruthless Warlords and Gods. Hopefully we'll have more on this potential Xena: Warrior Princess reboot soon.