Warrior Nun showrunner says Netflix pushed back on exploring queer romance in season two

Warrior Nun's Ava Silva (Alba Baptista) and Sister Beatrice (Kristina Tonteri-Young) against a pink background

Following a debacle over the show’s cancellation, the showrunner of Netflix fantasy drama Warrior Nun has spoken out about how he fought for season two’s lesbian romance.

The show, which follows a group of nuns who train teenage girls to fight demons, debuted on Netflix in July 2020. However, after running for two seasons, it was cancelled in December 2022, to the dismay of its dedicated fanbase.

The #SaveWarriorNun movement quickly went viral online, with an online petition launched begging producers to reconsider for a third season.

In August 2023, following a long fight, the show’s executive producer Dean English confirmed that it would be returning – in the form of a “trilogy of motion pictures.”

“You guys really make it all worthwhile,” English’s statement read. “So, thank you so much for your continued support.

“I want to say that you guys have made me very, very proud through all your hard work and inspired me to keep going.”

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Now, Warrior Nun’s showrunner Simon Barry has revealed why Netflix pushed back against exploring Ava and Beatrice’s romantic relationship in season two. A central aspect of the storyline, their chemistry was praised by viewers.

A still from Netflix series Warrior Nun showing actors Alba Baptista and Kristina Tonteri-Young as Ava and Beatrice wearing their warrior nun costumes; and Ava is supporting Beatrice in a room with bodies lying on the floor
Ava (left) and Beatrice (right) in Warrior Nun. (Netflix)

Speaking with The OCS Newsletter, Barry said that whilst the show’s writers wanted their relationship to be central to the story, Netflix had concerns about how it would resonate with fans.

“As writers, we wanted to emphasise the Beatrice/Ava relationship, in stronger terms constantly… I think, Netflix at times was worried that that was not going to satisfy the audience as much as the story parts were.

“They didn’t want to make a trade of that relationship for other aspects of what the show was doing. And I think part of that was because season one was very plot-driven and very active, and there was a lot of action happening, and the Ava Beatrice relationship was simmering and not dominant in that way.

Barry described the characters’ early relationship as an “undercurrent of emotional torrent and attraction” which wasn’t “overt.” So, when it came to pitching season two, Netflix wanted the writers to preserve “what worked the first time.”

“They don’t want you to sort of veer off the path that they perceive is the successful path,” he concluded.

“In season 2, we really wanted to bust it open. And I think the network was a little nervous about that.”

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