We were all obsessed with Xena and Gabrielle’s epic friendship on ‘Xena: Warrior Princess,’ and we’re about to get a twist with the reboot.
Lucy Lawless won’t be returning to the NBC reboot of Xena: Warrior Princess, but that won’t be the only change. Writer Javier Grillo-Marxuach hosted a Q&A this week and actually revealed that this new show “will be a very different show made for very different reasons.” One huge difference? Gabrielle and Xena’s relationship won’t just be a friendship.
During a Q&A on Tumblr on March 6, pilot writer, Javier Grillo-Marxuach — also a co-executive producer and writer on The 100 — made a strong statement about the relationship between Xena and Gabrielle this time around:
i am a very different person with a very different world view than my employer on the 100 – and my work on the 100 was to use my skills to bring that vision to life. xena will be a very different show made for very different reasons. 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. it will also express my view of the world – which is only further informed by what is happening right now – and is not too difficult to know what that is if you do some digging.
In case you don’t watch The 100, he’s referencing a fan-favorite character Lexa, who was killed off, but was in a relationship with a woman, Clarke. When she was killed, fans immediately started messaging him to see what LGBTQ character he’d cast next. And now this, will be it.
NBC hasn’t officially picked up the series yet, but Javier has spoken a little about the importance of Gabrielle and Xena’s relationship before.
“Xena and Gabrielle represented something that, just plain did not exist in TV at the time… it’s hard to imagine that 1995 was before the phrase “The Bechdel Test” was part of the mainstream critical vernacular, and that single-female-led shows like Alias were still some six years away for the major networks,” he said in a recent interview. “Even for someone like me (and I can’t say that at the time “feminism” was the first thing I looked for in my first run syndicated action-adventure-fantasy) it was clear that this was something different, and that it offered not just the thrills and sex appeal, but also a genuinely different and, frankly, enlightening relationship at its core. Xena helped a lot of people—myself included—finally embrace the potential of female-driven shows in the genre space.”