Xena is heading to the world of Deadites. In an interview with genre icon Bruce Campbell about his new game show Last Fan Standing on the CONtv streaming network, the actor revealed Lucy Lawless would be appearing in the Starz show Ash vs. Evil Dead.
After speaking with Lawless just yesterday about her recurring role on season two of WGN America's Salem, I asked the erstwhile warrior princess if she had anything to pass along to Campbell in today's talk. She jokingly said to warn him not to "screw up" or "ruin her franchise."
When I brought that warning up to Campbell, this was his response:
"Dear Ms. Lawless: Hit your marks, say your lines, or you're fired."
He then dropped the news that "she's going to be on the show."
"We just added her to our cast, and I got to tell you, I couldn't be happier. Some actors you work with and you know that you're going to fail the chemistry test. There are some that you know you won't fail it. She's great; I worked with her a lot in the Xena days, and it's great to have her on Ash vs. Evil Dead."
While he didn't reveal too much about her role on the series, Campbell said Lawless is very good at "playing extreme characters," and that's what she'll be doing on AvED as well.
Update: Following the publication of this item, Starz released further information confirming Lawless' casting, and announcing she'd be playing a character named Ruby. She is described as "a mysterious figure who is myopic in her quest to hunt down the source of the recent Evil outbreaks ... the only problem: she believes that Ash (Bruce Campbell) is the cause of it all."
When asked if he's at all worried about Lawless stealing a bit of the spotlight from him, Campbell said, "She is pretty good at stealing the spotlight, isn't she?"
"She is a beautiful woman who is very talented. I expect her to hog every one of our scenes, and I'll let her because she's Lucy Lawless; we want her to be happy on the show, and we have a very good part for her."
Of course, Lawless' casting is great news for fans, but it makes total sense considering the history shared between her and AvED executive producers Campbell, Sam Raimi and her own husband, Rob Tapert. In addition to Campbell playing Autolycus on Xena: Warrior Princess (and Hercules: The Legendary Journeys), Lawless guest-starred on Campbell's show Burn Notice. Meanwhile, Raimi and Tapert executive-produced the Starz series Spartacus, starring Lawless, and Campbell's Jack of All Trades. And fun fact: Ash and Xena crossed over in a 2008 Dynamite comic, as shown in the above image.
The band is getting back together, with Raimi directing the pilot, in New Zealand this April for an air date of October. The series will be in the vein of Army of Darkness, and will follow the character Ash as he recruits a younger team in his fight against evil Deadites. Meanwhile, Last Fan Standing, a nerdy trivia game show hosted by Campbell, launches today on the new CONtv streaming network. Salem returns with season two, "Witch War," April 5 on WGN America.
And keep an eye out for more from my interview with Campbell, and from Lawless herself.