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Executive Producer Javier Grillo-Marxuach Departs From the Xena Reboot; What Happens Now?

Since the above tweet was posted on April 1st, many Xena fans thought this had to be a joke. Sadly, Executive Producer Javier Grillo-Marxuach has confirmed that he is no longer attached to a reboot of the popular property. The question now is: will a Xena reboot be happening at all?

Grillo-Marxuach posted the above during WonderCon weekend; a time during which he was sitting on panels and all was supposed to be well in the geek world. But all was not well, and apparently, they haven’t been well in the world of the Xena reboot for over a month. As people responded to the tweet, asking if he was serious or if this was an April Fools’ prank to which he was extremely committed, he confirmed the news, saying:

I was very much looking forward to seeing where his vision would take the show as, based on what I’d heard from him via social media, his Tumblr, as well as interviews we’ve covered here at TMS, it seemed as though he had a great take on the world of Xena that would have at its heart an overtly romantic relationship between the Warrior Princess and Gabrielle. I was hugely disappointed.

I reached out to him to confirm the basic fact (it’s way, definitely true), and to see what he could tell us about his decision and his hopes for the show. Here’s what he had to say:

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.

Knowing how Grillo-Marxuach felt about the Xena/Gabrielle relationship, as well as knowing other ways in which his worldview would (in my opinion, positively) affect the world of the show, it’s difficult not to see these “insurmountable creative differences” and be disappointed. What could NBC have have wanted (or not wanted) that would’ve been that insurmountable? It’s hard not to assume the worst.

Meanwhile, Grillo-Marxuach says that he hopes that a reboot or revival will “someday coalesce,” which leads me to believe that we’re totally back to the drawing board as far as this even happening, which makes sense considering that they won’t be using Grillo-Marxuach’s pilot and would need to find someone to go in NBC’s entirely different direction.

It would be awesome if a Xena reboot happened. However, I think it’s more important that it be done right. As I’ve said before, reboots and remakes are opportunities to course correct and take the spirit of the original into the future. If NBC isn’t prepared to allow the Xena reboot to do that, perhaps it’s best if it doesn’t get a reboot at all.

Hey, there’s always the comics.

(image: Javier Grillo-Marxuach)

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