Justified: City Primeval: What We Know About The FX Revival Series
What better time than now — as TV shows like Yellowstone, The CW’s reboot of Walker, Texas Ranger, and The Mandalorian are dominating the airwaves — for one of the best Neo-Western TV shows to come back for another showdown? It has been nearly a decade since FX’s Kentucky-fried crime drama, Justified — developer Graham Yost’s series adaptation of a short story by Elmore Leonard — ended its run and it will soon continue in the form of a new limited series called Justified: City Primeval. Prepare yourself for the second coming of U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens by checking our rundown of all the most essential facts to know about this revival.
When Is The Justified: City Primeval Premiere Date?
According to Entertainment Weekly, Justified: City Primeval is expected to begin at some point in mid-2023. However, no specific premiere date for this new chapter in Raylan Givens’ brutal war on crime has been announced as of yet. The last we saw of the bold and brash lawman was in 2015, when the series finale of Justified aired after six seasons on FX in April of that year, later prompting questions of when and how it could return to TV one day.
The Limited Series Is Based On An Elmore Leonard Novel
As mentioned earlier, the basis for Justified is a novella by Elmore Leonard called “Fire in the Hole,” and the series revival is taking inspiration from another title by the prolific author of classic crime stories like Get Shorty and Rum Punch (the inspiration for Quentin Tarantino’s Jackie Brown).
As confirmed by FX and Sony Pictures Television in early 2022, Justified: City Primeval is based on Leonard’s 1980 novel, City Primeval: High Noon in Detroit, which follows an old-fashioned detective taking on an elusive criminal known as the “Oklahoma Wildman.” The story will be heavily reimagined so the eight-episode limited series can involve Raylan Givens — a character who was only first introduced in Leonard’s 1993 book, Pronto, but would find himself in the Motor City when Leonard’s son, Peter, wrote the 2018 novel, Raylan Goes to Detroit.
Timothy Olyphant Returns As Raylan Givens
Years after leading the Justified cast for six seasons (and to Emmy Award-nominated acclaim) as Raylan Givens, Timothy Olyphant is putting the hat and holster back on for Justified: City Primeval, as a tweet by the series’ official Twitter account confirmed. The U.S. Marshal is actually just one of many western-style heroes that the actor has embodied over the years.
Olyphant played Seth Bullock in the Deadwood cast (whom he reprised in HBO’s feature-length follow-up in 2019), Cobb Vanth (a fan-favorite The Mandalorian Season 2 character) Lancer star James Stacy in Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood cast, and the Spirit of the West in Rango. However, many of Raylan’s best moments on Justified only made fans want the character back even more after seeing Olyphant in other roles, making this return incredibly exciting.
New Cast Members Include Boyd Holbrook, Aunjanue Ellis, And More
While a reunion of Raylan and Boyd Crowder (Walton Goggins) is uncertain, Deadline reported that the limited series will pit Raylan against another Boyd: Boyd Holbrook as main antagonist Clement Mansell. Also featured in the Justified: City Primeval cast are Oscar-nominated King Richard star Aunjunue Ellis as attorney Carolyn Wilder; Adelaide Clemens (known for FX’s Under the Banner of Heaven) as Mansell’s girlfriend, Sandy; and Emmy nominee Vondie Curtis-Hall as a character named Sweetie.
Marin Ireland from The Umbrella Academy portrays Maureen, The King of Queens’ Victor Williams is Wendell, Norbert Leo Butz is a character also named Norbert, and Master of None’s Ravi Patel (as Rick Newley) will also appear, as another Deadline article confirms. However, one of the more surprising and intriguing cast additions is Timothy Olyphant’s daughter, Vivian, making her acting debut as Raylan’s daughter, Willa.
Former Justified EPs Dave Andron And Michael Dinner Are The Showrunners
While original series developer Graham Yost is involved with this new follow-up, the ones running the show this time are Dave Andron and Michael Dinner, who both served as executive producers on Justified during its original run. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Dinner — who went on to produce and direct for series like Sneaky Pete and fellow FX crime drama, Mayans M.C. — is also directing the first episode of the revival. Andron is know for being the co-creator and show runner for FX’s Snowfall, which is coming to an end in 2023.
Justified: City Primeval Was Filmed In Chicago
While the story of Justified: City Primeval takes place in Detroit, most of the production actually took place in Chicago, Illinois, as noted by Deadline. Similarly, the limited series’ predecessor was never actually shot in Kentucky and, as a behind-the-scenes photo slideshow by The San Diego Union-Tribune proves, Green Valley, California, filled in for Raylan’s hometown of Harlan for much of the show’s run.
A Real Vehicular Gunfight Halted Production
The filming of Justified: City Primeval was interrupted on July 20, 2022, when two vehicles engaged in a violent gunfight crashed through the Chicago set’s barricades. Luckily, as Deadline would report, no cast and crew members on set at the time suffered any injury, including Olyphant, who would later recall the incident to his good friend, Conan O’Brien, on the talk show host’s podcast, Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend. The following is an excerpt of what took place in the actor’s own words:
The first car goes right by us. I can hear the bullets hitting the thing off the back of the car… Then, the second car goes by – this muscle car, one of those Dodge Chargers, all tinted out – and there’s a guy shooting a pistol out the window that’s clearly been modified because it’s like, ‘pop pop pop pop,’ and the other guy’s out the sunroof… and he’s shooting a machine gun. And those guys go by at, like, 100 miles an hour… And then a third car went by and the crazy thing is, then they kind of continued around the neighborhood and you felt like they were coming back.
Olyphant would go on to go on to admit that, despite outsider remarks claiming the contrary, the incident was nothing short of traumatic for the actor, who was supposed to shoot more of the series the next night. However, it was soon agreed that the situation warranted a break in production and tightened security measures for when filming resumed.
An Incendiary Device Was Later Thrown Near The Set
The gunfight in July was not the only time that the set encountered real-life danger. The Chicago-based local news station WLS-TV broke the news that, just three weeks after the first incident, something described as an “incendiary device” was thrown near where filming took place near the city’s South Loop Area. The object did not explode and, once again, no one from the cast and crew was injured, thankfully.
With all that the people involved with this limited series went through, I especially hope that the end result is the worth the struggle. See for yourself once Justified: City Primeval premieres on FX and (and will likely be available to stream with a Hulu subscription). Until then, be sure to check back for further updates.