August 13, 2011

IconBringing back the Warrior Princess: The Xena 2011 Movie Campaign

As of June 2011, it has been 10 years since the Warrior Princess stormed across our screens with her soulmate Gabrielle beside her, writes Jen Tucker. Many fans are still brokenhearted about the end, and so with the recent re-release of the Xena series DVDs has come a new fan campaign to produce a new Xena film.

There were talks of a Xena movie right after the series ended, but rights disputes and time eroded most of the hope of ever reuniting these characters. But Carolyn Fiero, team leader of the Xena 2011 Movie Campaign thinks that things could change.

“When I read several articles on the internet early this year in which Lucy Lawless indicated she would be interested in doing a Xena movie (but that it would need to happen soon, before she and Renee O’Connor were too old to reprise their roles), I thought the time was right.”

The Xena 2011 Movie Campaign team have the support of over 4,500 people on Facebook, and have even put together a video to rally Xena fans to the cause. If social media can get TV shows extra seasons and revive others just by enough people clicking ‘Like’, then why can’t it bring back two of the greatest icons in lesbian history, Xena and Gabrielle?

There is still a role for the Warrior Princess and her Battling Bard in society and culture today. Throughout the series, many women talked about Xena giving them the courage to stand up for themselves. Xena is a symbol of strength and empowerment for women and people everywhere. Fiero from the Xena 2011 Movie Campaign agrees. “Xena is that hero for many people,” she says. “She stands up for herself, but more importantly, she stands up for others. She puts the ‘greater good’ ahead of her own needs.”

Even Xena TV series writer/producer Steven L. Sears still sees a place for the Warrior Princess despite the changed times and audience. “To this day, I still get letters from people telling me how the show changed their lives, empowered many, and gave hope where some previously saw darkness,” he says.

Sears goes on to compare the message in Xena to the message of the It Gets Better video campaign. “Those videos have helped so many LGBT youth and given them hope that a better world is possible if they just believe in who they are. If I can say anything when I leave this world, it’s that I was honored to be a part of the longest running It Gets Better video ever done: Xena, Warrior Princess.”

On 30 April 1997 Ellen may have come out as a lesbian on national TV in America, but on 3 February of the same year, Xena kissed Gabrielle in the highest rated syndicated series in television history. There had been plenty of subtext for lesbians in episodes before that. There was such intimacy between the two characters that the LGBT fan base exploded. Xena’s attitude alone toward such hotly debated topics was refreshing. In a time where same-sex marriage and equal rights for all GLBT people are mentioned nightly on TV, Xena could still shine.

The Xena 2011 Movie Campaign sees Xena as a character that “transcends age, race, religion, or sexual orientation.” They believe the younger generation views society, as a whole, differently and “do not differentiate between different types of people”. They believe that “Xena is a show about friendship, loyalty, commitment, sacrifice, forgiveness and love”.

Xena became an important icon to the LGBT community and especially lesbians. Sears believes that part of the reason for this was “because we didn’t try to ‘break barriers’, we IGNORED barriers.” He goes on to explain that a barrier gives certain intolerances “legitimacy” and by ignoring them, you take that legitimacy away. “We ignored the barriers of our real world when creating the world of Xena. And, in doing that, we (hopefully) showed what a world could be like without that bigotry.”

However, he does acknowledge that even today a movie couldn’t all the two characters to be openly gay. “Studios… do not want to alienate that [heterosexual] male audience by flatly stating ‘forget it, you have no chance, even in your imagination’”.

In a time when so many oppose LGBT people equal rights it would be nice to see the Warrior Princess and her faithful sidekick return. So how do we make that happen?

The first thing you can do is head on over to the Xena 2011 Movie Campaign on Facebook and click the ‘Like’ button. The more numbers you have to show the people with money to produce movies, the better chance you have they are going to look your way.

It worked for Golden Girls actress Betty White. One Facebook page and a million plus ‘Likes’, and she was hosting Saturday Night Live. Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and blogs give fans and supporters a way to show their unity and support for ideas. It’s really up to the fans to show The Powers That Be that the audience is there and waiting.

Lucy Lawless, the actress who plays Xena, has made it clear that she would love to play Xena again. In an interview with Out Magazine in January 2010 she said “I love that character. I would do it if it was a movie.”

So, c’mon Xena fans, let’s make this happen!

15 Responses to Bringing back the Warrior Princess: The Xena 2011 Movie Campaign

  1. angela says:

    2011 is almost over.

  2. Jennifer says:

    This would be awesome! I am all in favor of a Xena movie!

    angela~ I think it’s called the 2011 movie campaign because the campaign was started this year, not that they expect a movie to be written, shot, edited, and distributed in the next few months. But that’s just a guess.

  3. hanna says:

    let’s go xena fans!!! we can do it,
    click the ‘like’ button!!!

  4. Jimmy says:

    Xena has been my hero since the day she turned her sword to help those in need. She has helped shape my sense of right and wrong and how I should try and treat people. I will forever love the heroes of Xena both fictional and non. I would love to see Lucy and Renee reunite on the big screen!

  5. Susan says:

    Xena had been my hero for many years. I am ALL for a movie, and all for seeing her kick ass once again…and on the big screen even! Let’s get it done! :)

  6. Susan says:

    oh yes and let’s make sure we have Callisto back as well! Best villain EVER!

  7. No Longer a Xena Fan says:

    The Xena movie will be made without the original actors. Get used to saying it, because its going to happen.

    Clearly, the intent of the article is to make it known that the brushback from folks who don’t favor equality for the GLBT fanbase is the reason for there not being a movie. Can you be anymore pathetic??

    The two issues are different and I take offense to it.

    The movie isn’t going to be made because of the possible relationship between the main characters, but rather the studio isn’t going to fork over tens of millions of dollars to a film in which only a handful of people are willing to see it.

    As someone who’s worked in the movie industry for 15 plus years, there’s a lot backroom discussions. And the “rights” isn’t the issue. It never really was once it was resolved that any movie belongs to Universal.

    Actors lie all the time. Why? Read below…

    I was a fan of the show, but I stopped being fan because of the crybabies who didn’t get their “ending” (in general, and some sort of confirmation on the relationship) and the fanbase in general took a turn for the surreal by hurling expletives toward the fabulous people who brought us the show.

    This article only proves Universal’s theory that the people who want a movie want a confirmation (an outting, so to speak) and nothing more.

    FYI: I’m a lesbian, so no one start any shit with me over it. Get a grip on reality.

  8. akemi says:

    we want the f*! movie now!! :x

  9. akemi says:

    or back the serie on tv would be better!! :D

  10. Jen Tucker says:

    In response to “No Longer a Xena Fan”:

    The intent of the article was to let people know there is a new movement to get people involved in supporting a movie. It is also to show Xena’s importance in pop culture to all walks of life. What you read into it simply isn’t there. I’ve always enjoyed that Xena is for everyone. Xena transcends gender & sexuality. I believe it even says that in the article. What you took offense to is also not in the article. What was being said was that no one should expect the characters to ever be outed. Not just because they transcend it, but also because it isn’t as profitable in the long run. Also, yes, Universal owns the rights, but if they see profit, they will be interested in doing it. Anyone in the business knows studios are interested in profit. Actors do lie, but sometimes they don’t. Sometimes they meant what they said, but other projects come up that are better for them at the time & things they intended on pursuing are pushed back or crossed off. I don’t need a confirmation on the relationship, but I really would love to see these characters come back. Quite honestly, the biggest problem I had with the ending was Xena never forgave herself. There are no “crybabies” here. I’m sorry if you misinterpreted the piece for anything other than a fun piece on a Pop Culture Icon & a group interested in trying to bring these characters back because they love them. In reality, that’s really all there is to it.

  11. TheFifthSister says:

    I’m all in favour of a Lucy and Renee Xena movie. I’d hate to see it go the way of other reboots and see some other actresses destroy the characters that Xenites love so dearly. Lucy and Renee put too much of there own souls into the characters for them to be portrayed by anyone else.

    Bring back Lucy and Renee!!

  12. John Vuoso says:

    It should be like this: Years after Xena’s death. It show Gabrielle getting married to Iolaus when Hercules is running late cause a band of thugs stop him and Hercules is like “I don’t have time for this”. During the battle Hercules hear Xena’s war cry and pops out of the trees. The thugs run away saying its Xena back from the dead. Hercules just stands there in awe and Xena says “I think we have a wedding to get too. They both smile and hall ass. At the ceremony the priest says “if there’s no objections speak now or hold your lease Hercules shows up and says “yeah I’m not here”. Iolaus: its about time. “Do u have the rings. Iolaus looks to Hercules and he saying I gave them to somebody else. Gabby is like “Who!” Xena: Me. THAT’S WHAT I THINK SHOULD HAPPPEN. AND THE STORY WOULD BE Calisto breaking out of Tartrus with Joxer on her trail but goes to Hercules at The wedding. When Joxer is telling Herc. He says Hi Xena turn back at Herc says Xena! And faints

  13. Anita says:

    I want to see a movie, i think it will be great. So what if they aged, as long as the two are healthy enough to play the rolls. The show hits every emotion a human feels, it hits every excitement we are looking for in entertainment. If Lucy and Renee are up for it i say hell yeah and just do it. I mean, they made a X-files movie, two of them after 9 seasons… xena can make one movie, it will be great! so come on, suck it up and start writing and producing PEOPLE!!!

  14. Anita says:

    by the way i am straight,married and i still love this show. I am a action packed woman and i love seeing strong rolls for woman.exp talented ones like Lucy and Renee. so make this movie for all, because they are liked by many viewers.

  15. Sharon Ruth Minchington says:

    Sharon what Xena Movie back in New Zealand and I Lucy Lawless and Renee O’ Connor to come to Wellington to see Sharon Ruth Minchington to talk them?

Milly Shaw

Video

‘Define Me’ – Ryan Amador (featuring Jo Lampert)

The song DEFINE ME was released exclusively on Ryan Amador’s bandcamp (http://www.ryanamador.bandcamp.com/) in conjunction with Ryan’s live performance at the True Colors LGBT Youth Conference on March 22nd. It was produced by David Baloche for Grove Street Studios. 100% of its proceeds will be donated to organizations actively involved with the LGBT equality campaign. http://www.ryanamador.com/

April 22, 2013