Graham Yost's "Justified," based on Elmore Leonard's stories with recurring character Raylan Givens, enjoyed a successful six-season run over the span of five years. Timothy Olyphant, who assumed the role of U.S. Marshal Givens, invested the character with gritty charisma that helped ground the show effortlessly. When FX announced a revival with the upcoming sequel series, "Justified: City Primeval," fans were delighted at the prospect of Olyphant reprising the role of Givens. Olyphant's return is definitely a cause for celebration, as he was clearly the beating heart of the parent series, melding seamlessly with new characters to help expand the scope of the high-stakes, crime-ridden world of "Justified."
/Film's Vanessa Armstrong was present at the TCA (the Television Critics Association press tour) session for "Justified: City Primeval," where Olyphant explained his reasons for returning to the sequel series. When asked about concerns over the continuation of the original show's world, Olyphant joked that his biggest concern was that he would "only make a pile of money." Circling back to his reason for returning, the actor remarked that he always had faith in Leonard and Yost's composite world, which holds the potential to tell "numerous stories:"
"I really didn't have any concerns. I love these guys, and Elmore Leonard and Graham Yost gave us so much material to launch that I always thought there were potentially numerous stories. I thought as long as we were still in the Leonard world and the Yost world that the two of them created […] I'd be there for it."
While Leonard's stories are impactful due to their gritty realism and naturalistic writing style, Yost helped convert them into a high-velocity visual drama that made for peak television in the 2010s. This winning combination seems to be the reason why Olyphant is keen on returning as Raylan Givens.
The Return Of Raylan Givens
"Justified" has always been laid-back in its core essence, in a way that can only be described as wickedly cool. Raylan, whose sole motive is to enforce justice, also needs to grapple with his personal demons amid the perpetual murders and shootouts. Most of the series followed a crime-of-the-week format — however, this formulaic approach never felt hackneyed due to the show's consistent ability to showcase dynamic characters. The dialogue still remains endlessly quotable and packed with sass, as evidenced by Raylan saying things like, "If you wanted me to shoot you in the front, you should've run toward me" to an especially whiny criminal.
Seeing as "Justified" ended with Raylan working in a Miami outpost and antagonist Boyd Crowder (Walter Goggins) in jail, what will the sequel series be about? "Justified: City Primeval" will take place eight years after the events of the original season finale, with Raylan in Detroit. Raylan will be spending a lot of time with his daughter Willa (Vivian Olyphant) while juggling his duties as marshal, which leads to an encounter with the dangerous Mansell (Boyd Holbrook). Using his razor-sharp perception, Raylan is forced to catch this serial killer before it's too late.
While "Justified" was an amalgamation of several stories featuring Raylan Givens, "Justified: City Primeval" will be primarily based on Elmore Leonard's novel "City Primeval: High Noon in Detroit." Dave Andron and Michael Dinner are currently attached as showrunners, and the series is expected to premiere sometime in mid-2023. Although it is unclear exactly what kind of tone "City Primeval" will be adopting, here's hoping that it retains the effortlessly cool neo-Western aura of the original.
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