In an interview with Screen Rant, Lucy Lawless has expressed her desire to return to her iconic role of Xena, Warrior Princess for one last time, so she can pass the mantle on to someone new and retire.
After its initial run from 1995-2001, Xena: Warrior Princess has since picked up a cult following and become an influence on a new generation of female-led TV shows. It has spawned annual conventions and a loyal fanbase, who have been clamouring for a continuation or reboot for the last 20 years.
The “swords-and-sandals” genre remains huge popular in TV, with successful shows such as Vikings, Spartacus, The Last Kingdom and Black Sails. And that’s not to mention the huge impact of historical-fantasy epic Game of Thrones and the fact that we have a Lord of the Rings TV series to look forward to.
When asked how she would feel about a reboot, Lawless stated that she would like to be included somehow – perhaps in the same way that Lynda Carter has been featured in Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman series – so she can “hand the breastplate over” to a new Xena.
But Xena does not want to return without her Gabrielle. Lawless stated that; “Well, I would like to be in some way included in finding the next one [the next Xena]. Renee [O’Connor, who plays Gabrielle] and I come back as our roles, but find there is the new Xena to hand the breastplate over to or something. And then, [Gabrielle] and I can go settle down on Lesbos and run a B&B or something.”
A reboot of Xena: Warrior Princess was mooted back in 2015, with the show’s original creators set to return as executive producers, but that was ultimately scrapped by NBC. They said it was shelved “for the foreseeable future.” A movie was also planned as far back as 2003, which never got off the ground.
Casting someone new in a role that has been defined so strongly by one actor – in this case, Lucy Lawless – will certainly be a challenge, if it ever were to happen. It seems as though Lawless would like to give her blessing to whoever it turns out to be. For now, Lawless can be heard in a new animated film – The Spine of Night.