After a popular Nikita movie and series, why retell the story yet again in a new series? It’s a legitimate question and one the writer of the upcoming CW series Nikita Craig Silverstein asked himself when Warner Bros. TV approached him with the idea to do something with the title. “I took it upon myself to find a way — could it be done fresh? Could we have a take where you didn’t know how this story was going to end? And that’s when I came upon the idea of following Nikita (Maggie Q) after she had left the agency which is a chapter that’s never been told, and at the same time doing justice to the origin story of Nikita, that dark fairy tale of taking a girl and changing her life, changing her identity, and the kind of Pygmalion aspect of transforming her into a killer, a beautiful killer and giving her etiquette lessons and all that stuff. We’re doing that with the character of Alex (Lyndsy Fonseca). You don’t know which way this girl is going to go, you don’t know how the story is going to end. So it’s not a rehash.”
McG hit on the empowered female characters theme in Nikita. “From my experience with Charlie’s Angels on down, it’s just I like the idea of empowered female characters that don’t apologize for being beautiful, but are very, very intelligent and multi-dimensional, and I think Maggie nails that voicing.”
Director Danny Cannon shed some light on the action-packed pilot’s budget. “I’m very proud that this pilot cost a third of what other pilots cost this year. And that’s because I did a cable show right before this that taught me how to go even faster. But it’s not about just speed. A lot of it is to do with what’s the story about? Service the story. I mean, we could all use helicopters and blow more things up, but that’s got nothing to do with the story. And television has always been about characters and stories. So I actually get more creative with less money, I believe.
And star Maggie Q, who was very funny in her ad-libbing at the CW upfront presentation once again offered some comic relief. Here is her reaction to a critic’s assumption that she probably started doing martial arts at a very young age: “I’m half Asian. So immediately people go, ‘Oh, well, you do kung fu.’ Like we all, that’s what we do. We wake up. We do kung fu. We brush our teeth. That’s what we do.” And no, she wasn’t into martial arts early on, she was a runner and a swimmer.