Quentin Tarantino helped revive Justified for an unlikely new series, co-showrunner Michael Dinner has revealed.
Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, Dinner detailed how they came to adapt Elmore Leonard’s crime novel City Primeval, which centres on a detective who tracks down ‘Oklahoman Wildman’ Clement Mansell in Detroit.
“A lot of people had wanted to make this book before,” he said. “It almost got made by [Sam] Peckinpah years ago as a movie, and [Quentin] Tarantino wanted to make it as a movie, and a lot of people wanted to play with it in television, streaming or cable.”
Dinner said he then received a surprise call from Timothy Olyphant, who was filming Tarantino’s Once Upon A Time In Hollywood at the time. The showrunner then detailed how a conversation between the actor and Tarantino led to Olyphant returning as fast-shooter Raylan Givens, a role he played from 2010 to 2015 on the original Justified series.
“One day the phone rang and it was Tim Olyphant who said, ‘I’ve been sitting on the set [of Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood] with Quentin, and we were talking about this book, City Primeval. We thought it would make a great year of Justified,’” Dinner recalled.
Justified: City Primeval sees an older Givens cross paths with Mansell, played by Boyd Holbrook (Narcos, The Sandman).
Talking about the show’s new villain, Dinner said: “He’s so unpredictable, and at a time when Raylan himself is seven, eight years older, so it’s not only who he is physically, but also because he’s so unpredictable.”
He continued: “Boyd Crowder had kind of an amoral code, but he still had a code. I’m not sure that Clement Mansell, the bad guy in this, does at all. And that makes him really dangerous. It’s a pretty formidable antagonist for our protagonist.”
Elsewhere, Tarantino recently explained why he never kills animals in any of his movies. Speaking to Variety, the Pulp Fiction director said “that’s a bridge I can’t cross”.
Justified: City Primeval will air on FX in US in summer 2023.