Rob Tapert, the co-creator of television’s Xena: Warrior Princess, has given up hope that there will ever be a live-action feature film version of the classic show, at least not any time soon or starring series leads Lucy Lawless and Renee O’Connor.
“It’s something that just won’t happen,” Tapert told TheTorchOnline.com in an exclusive interview. “I don’t think it’s going to happen for Lucy and Renee. In twenty years or ten years, in some amount of years, like McGyver, like Charlie’s Angels, it [could] happen like that [with other actresses].”
Rumors of a feature film adaptation of the series, which ran in syndication from 1995 to 2001, have circulated for years, and all the principles had indicated in interviews that they’d be eager to participate.
“I thought for a heartbeat it would [get made],” Tapert said, “but at the end of the day, the rules of motion picture marketing, where they have to commit $25 million to open a movie, in this environment, the momentum you need to get a movie made isn’t there to get a Xena movie made.”
One problem for a film version concerned the fact that NBC Universal Television Group controls the rights to the show, not Tapert or co-creators John Schulian or R.J. Stewart.
Tapert’s pessimism stems from the rights question, which still hasn’t been resolved, and the lack of funding. “It’s a question of [rights and financing],” he says. “All of the above.”
The show was canceled after a six-year run, but still enjoys a huge cult following, both online and at annual real-time conventions.
Over the course of the show, the character of Xena returned from the dead many times; the warrior princess even died in the series finale. But now the character, at least as interpreted by actress Lucy Lawless, appears to be dead for good.
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