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Justified Showrunners, Olyphant Talk "City Primeval," Raylan & More

Justified: City Primeval showrunners Dave Andron & Michael Dinner and star Timothy Olyphant on why the return, Raylan Givens' status & more.

Okay, we get to take a break from being nostalgic to check in on how things are looking with Dave Andron & Michael Dinner's Justified: City Primeval. With the return of  Timothy Olyphant's U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens set for this July, the trio covered a ton of topics about the original & return series in a recent interview with EW. In this first go-around, Andron & Dinner explain why they risked what many considered to be an excellent ending to the original series for a return (hint, it very much has to do with Elmore Leonard's novel, City Primeval: High Noon in Detroit). Following that, Olyphant discusses where Raylan's at in his life, how it differs from the original series, and how being a father to Willa (Vivian Olyphant) is more essential to both of them than ever before.

Image: FX Networks Screencap

Elmore Leonard's "City Primeval: High Noon in Detroit" Was Too Much to Resist: "It's kind of a gem in Elmore Leonard's collection. This is kind of the granddaddy for Raylan's character, in a way. We didn't intend to reboot Justified, we didn't intend to pick up where we left off, but we thought it would be interesting to, what I call, 'do a mashup.' What if we took our character and dropped him into the middle of this story, and yet pay homage to a character that was in the book and also do service to the book? It wasn't so much trying to recapture the past but to recapture the feeling that we had working together in the past, so we took Raylan and put him into this story." – Dinner

Olyphant on Raylan's "City Primeval" Status: While there are aspects of the original series that viewers will find in "City Primeval," Olyphant is preparing longtime fans for something pretty new. "You're not going to recognize anyone — the world, the relationships. I just don't think you're going to see what's coming," Olyphant shared. And that begins with an older (and wiser?) Raylan beginning to think about how things could end up for him. "He's older. That's the thing I notice most often. There's less desire to run," Olyphant reveals about the beloved character.

"You've got a US Marshal who's midlife, and through talking to the other Marshals out there, you get a sense of what he's up against and what's on his mind — if he's still in the position he was in when we last saw him, he's either been passed over, or he just loves it. And he still loves the chase," Olyphant explains. "When guys like that are still hanging around, they start thinking, 'How's this going to end? How much longer are you going to keep getting away with this?' Guys like that have to come to admit the chase allows them to avoid a bunch of other stuff."

Olyphant on Raylan Wanting to Be a More Active Father for Willa: "His parenting is not one of his strong suits. Now my kids might tell you, 'Yeah, that's exactly the same as in real life.' But I'd like to think I have a slight edge. This kid is, like Raylan, getting older, and how many chances is he going to get to be able to be in her life as she gets older? And at what point do you not drop everything to put the thrill of going to hunt somebody down and realize what's in front of you is pretty great? That gets tough."

JUSTIFIED: CITY PRIMEVAL (Image: FX Networks Screencap)

A Look at What's to Come with Justified: City Primeval

Inspired by Elmore Leonard's City Primeval: High Noon in Detroit, the series return finds Raylan Givens (Olyphant) having left the hollers of Kentucky eight years ago and now living in Miami, a walking anachronism balancing his life as a U.S. Marshal and part-time father of a 14-year-old girl. His hair is grayer, his hat is dirtier, and the road in front of him is suddenly a lot shorter than the road behind. A chance encounter on a desolate Florida highway sends him to Detroit. There he crosses paths with Clement Mansell, aka "The Oklahoma Wildman" (Boyd Holbrook), a violent, sociopathic desperado who's already slipped through the fingers of Detroit's finest once and aims to do so again. Mansell's lawyer, formidable Motor City native Carolyn Wilder (Aunjanue Ellis), has every intention of representing her client, even as she finds herself caught in between cop and criminal, with her own game afoot as well. These three characters set out on a collision course in classic Leonard fashion to see who makes it out of the "City Primeval" alive. Now, here's a look at that "Coming Soon" trailer released by FX Networks:

Along with Olyphant, the FX limited series Justified: City Primeval also stars Aunjanue Ellis (King Richard), Boyd Holbrook (The Premise), Adelaide Clemens (The Great Gatsby), Vondie Curtis Hall (Harriet), Marin Ireland (Y: The Last Man), Ravi Patel (The Valet, Meet the Patels), Norbert Leo Butz (Bloodline), Victor Williams (The Good Lord Bird), and Vivian Olyphant. Dave Andron & Michael Dinner will write, executive produce & serve as showrunners (with Dinner directing). Produced by Sony Pictures Television and FX Productions, Olyphant, Graham Yost, Sarah Timberman, Carl Beverly, Peter Leonard, Taylor Elmore (writer), and Chris Provenzano (writer) executive produce. Walter Mosley serves as a consulting producer, with V.J. Boyd, Eisa Davis, and Ingrid Escajeda also writing the series.

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Ray FlookAbout Ray Flook

Serving as Television Editor since 2018, Ray began five years earlier as a contributing writer/photographer before being brought onto the core BC team in 2017.
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