The Internet rumor mill can be an interesting animal. One moment, it can tell us something is absolutely in the works. Not 24 hours later, we’ll hear a rock solid rumor to refute what previously had seemed like a sure thing. That’s exactly what happened recently for a proposed reboot to none other than Xena: Warrior Princess. It all started when word surfaced from a fairly dependable source in The Hollywood Reporter, claiming that “that NBC and NBC Universal International are prepping a reboot of (Xena). Of course things only proliferated from there, as the news reached all four corners of the web.
Soon after though, original Xena star Lucy Lawless took to Twitter to refute what had previously seemed like a slam dunk.
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
After this, all excitement and anticipation were successfully quashed. If Lucy Lawless doesn’t seem confident that things are moving along, it’s hard for anyone to believe otherwise. But measure her statement up against the info that The Hollywood Reporter has and we may actually still be in for the promised Xena reboot. Look closely at their original story: The Reporter noted that things are “in the extremely early development stages and a search for a writer is currently underway.” It’s not a huge stretch to assume that “extremely early development stages” equates to “wishful thinking.”
So let’s say Xena manages to make its way back to television. Then what? The climate it would exist in today is far different than it was when it first aired back in the mid-90s. Gender equality is a discussion at the forefront of the collective Hollywood consciousness, making it the perfect time to bring back a show that features an ass-kicking independent warrior woman. ABC is already paving the way with the Hayley Atwell-led Agent Carter, but there’s a decided lack of empowering female-led shows that exist alongside it.
Much of the Xena talk could very well be surfacing as a reflection of the realization that people are itching for a show led by an empowered women now more than ever. Right now, our alternative options are Bones and The Good Wife (along with Agent Carter). Nothing would lead the charge better though than Xena: Warrior Princess. Whether it brings back Lucy Lawless in the iconic role, or recasts her for new audiences, it has the potential to win over its built-in 90s audience that already loves the series, as well as bringing in a brand new audience clamoring for a strong female lead on television.
This is all assuming that Xena makes it out of development. Given that it’s NBC in charge of production, we could be in for a long wait. Remember, this is the same network that got as far as the pilot stage for a Wonder Woman reboot starring Adrianne Palicki, and still couldn’t bridge it into a full series. Even so, if the network can rope in a talented writing team and bring back Lucy Lawless, we could have a full-on phenomenon on our hands here.
For now, we have to remember that “extremely early stages” means exactly that. It could be years before we ever seen anything to fruition if it ends up happening at all. Modern television may be even more primed for a rebooted Warrior Princess by then, as the gender equality debate continues to rage on with the release of every major blockbuster.
Follow Nick on Twitter @NickNorthwest