The hotly anticipated reboot of "Xena: Warrior Princess" will venture beyond the original series by featuring an out lesbian character as its protagonist.
Screenwriter Javier Grillo-Marxuach, who previously wrote episodes of "Lost" and "The 100," said he plans to explore the relationship between Xena and Gabrielle for the update, which is currently in development.
While the original fantasy-adventure series, which aired from 1995 until 2001, hinted at a more-than-sisterly bond between Xena (Lucy Lawless) and Gabrielle (Renee O'Connor), Grillo-Marxuach implied that the two women will be lovers in his version.
"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," he wrote. "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."
The original Xena seemed to offer her personal, albeit cheeky, blessing on Twitter. Along with a link to a Vanity Fair piece which reported the news, Lawless wrote:
In 2008, O'Connor said she believed that the relationship between Xena and Gabrielle was more than just subtext.
"It was very clear that we were together," she told AfterEllen in an interview at the time. "They are so in love with each other, they love each other so dearly; there’s no way you can say that’s not true. Anyone can see that from watching the show."
We couldn't be more thrilled that the "are-they-or-aren't-they?" tone of the original "Xena: Warrior Princess" is a thing of the past. At least, we'll get to see a fleshed-out depiction of a queer relationship, albeit with fantastical elements, in our living rooms.
Check out a news report on the reboot, which is being developed by original co-creator Rob Tapert (Lawless's husband) and Sam Raimi for NBC.