Series revival star Michael C. Hall and showrunner Clyde Phillips have found their 'big bad" for Dexter to face off against when the Showtime revival premieres in Fall 2021 (tentatively). On Tuesday, it was announced that Clancy Brown (The Shawshank Redemption, Carnivàle) has joined the project in the lead role of Kurt Caldwell. As confirmed by Deadline Hollywood, the description lists Caldwell as being born and raised in the town of Iron Lake: "In fact, some consider him the unofficial mayor of their small town. He's realized the American dream by going from driving big rigs, just like his father did, to now owning several trucks and the local truck stop. Powerful, generous, loved by everyone – he's a true man of the people. If he's got your back, consider yourself blessed. But should you cross Kurt, or hurt anyone that he cares for… God help you."
In October 2020, Phillips was a guest on The Hollywood Reporter's Top 5 podcast where he offered some additional insight into their approach to the series' return. With close to ten years have passed since viewers last visited Dexter Morgan's universe, Phillips wants to make it clear that this isn't just "the next season" but an opportunity to ends things a second time. "We want this to not be 'Dexter' Season 9. Ten years, or however many years, have passed by the time this will air, and the show will reflect that time passage," he explained. "So far as the ending of the show, this will have no resemblance to how the original finale was. It's a great opportunity to write a second finale."
While this will give the writers an opportunity to "reconsider" aspects of the finale season and the season finale, it's having a new story to tell that was the reason for the revival. "This is an opportunity to make that right," Phillips explained. "But that's not why we're doing it." But for fans looking for anything to dramatically changed or retconned back to a stronger sense of canon, Phillips wants to make something clear: "We're not undoing anything. We're not going to betray the audience and say, 'Whoops, that was all a dream.' What happened in the first eight years happened in the first eight years."
While Gary Levine, Co-President of Entertainment at Showtime, has said for quite some time that the network would consider revisiting the series if a creative take was found that was "worthy" of the original series, the ten-episode order that the tentatively-scheduled Fall 2021 series has received is about as good a way of confirming it as possible. To no one surprise, no details on characters or stories were made available but viewers of the series know that Dexter Morgan was left was a mess of a situation. Having stolen his dead sister Deb's (Jennifer Carpenter) body as some kind of pseudo-offering to the sea and then hand son Harrison to the serial killer love of his life to raise overseas, Dexter was left staring at us as he lived under a new name at an Oregon logging camp. As you can see, there are a number of knots to be undone but if they can pull it off? It will go a long way in doing right by the fanbase.
"Dexter is such a special series, both for its millions of fans and for Showtime, as this breakthrough show helped put our network on the map many years ago," said Levine. "We would only revisit this unique character if we could find a creative take that was truly worthy of the brilliant, original series. Well, I am happy to report that Clyde Phillips and Michael C. Hall have found it, and we can't wait to shoot it and show it to the world." Dexter is produced by Showtime and executive produced by Phillips, Hall, John Goldwyn, Sara Colleton, Bill Carraro, and Scott Reynolds. Marcos Siega (Batwoman, The Flight Attendant, Veronica Mars) is set to executive produce as well as direct six episodes of the season.