With the new year in television, cable, and streaming looking to be even more competitively stacked than ever before, it would be much of an exaggeration to say that Michael C. Hall, showrunner Clyde Phillips, and Showtime teaming up to bring back Dexter is one of the most eagerly-anticipated Fall 2021 (tentatively) projects. It's no secret that a lot of fans of the show found the series finale a bit… umm… "unsatisfying" (we're trying to play nice)- and if there's one person who knows that better than anyone, it's Hall. If Hall has his way, the revival will find a way to tell more of Dexter's story in a way that works for both the series and the fans.
"Let's be real: people found the way that show left things pretty unsatisfying, and there's always been a hope that a story would emerge that would be worth telling," Hall explained during an interview with The Daily Beast. "I include myself in the group of people that wondered, 'What the hell happened to that guy?' So I'm excited to step back into it. I've never had that experience of playing a character this many years on."
— Dexter on Showtime (@SHO_Dexter) October 14, 2020
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.