The highly-anticipated Justified revival, Justified: City Primeval, is finally here! In the FX limited series, we get to see Raylan Givens in a new light as the father to a teenage daughter. Did you know that Timothy Olyphant’s daughter plays his child on screen? Keep reading to learn more.
Justified was the popular FX drama, starring Timothy Olyphant as Deputy U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens, that premiered in 2010. Based on Elmore Leonard’s stories about the character Raylan Givens – particularly the short story Fire in the Hole – the show revolves around the inhabitants living in Harlan County, which is located in the Appalachian mountains area of eastern Kentucky. The Emmy-winning neo-Western series concluded with the Season 6 finale in 2015.
Like its predecessor, Justified: City Primeval is also based on an Elmore Leonard story. This time, it’s his 1980 crime novel, City Primeval: High Noon in Detroit, which previously caught the attention of big-name directors like Sam Peckinpah and Quentin Tarantino. But unlike Fire in the Hole, City Primeval does not feature Givens’ character in it. That’s part of the fun. “We thought it would be cool to do this mashup of the character we knew and this book Elmore wrote,” said Michael Dinner, Justified’s executive producer, in an interview with TV Insider in June 2023.
The reboot is set in Detroit – and Raylan’s job is to find out who murdered a powerful judge. The leading suspect is Clement Mansell (Boyd Holbrook), the antagonist of City Primeval: High Noon in Detroit. The Marshal is in the area to testify against a perp who tried to carjack him and his 15-year-old daughter Willa. Although she is set to attend a camp for troubled kids, he convinces her divorced dad that they should spend time together. “The job is what he knows and it’s what he does,” Olyphant also told TV Insider. “The kid is the tricky part for him — [figuring out] how to be a parent and balance his life.”
In the meantime, Raylan is put on the task force to find the judge’s killer. After he encounters Mansell (the lead suspect in the case), the suspected killer befriends his daughter. “Mansell leaves a trail of destruction wherever he goes … managing to get away with it helped by his lawyer,” Olyphant adds in the interview. The lawyer’s name is Carolyn Wilder, who is played by King Richard actress and Oscar nominee Aunjanue Ellis. “Lines are blurry and it’s easy to not like some of the good guys and love some of the bad ones,” Olyphant said. “Raylan is fascinated by this smart, formidable woman,” Dinner added.
The cast of the anticipated limited series also includes Vondie Curtis-Hall as Sweety, Adelaide Clemens as Sandy Stanton, Marin Ireland as Maureen Downey, Victor Williams as Wendell Robinson and Norbert Leo Butz as Norbert Beryl.
Who is Timothy Olyphant’s daughter?
Who is Timothy Olyphant’s daughter? Timothy Ophyant’s real-life daughter, Vivian Olyphant, stars in Justified: City Primeval. She plays Raylan Givens’ 15-year-old daughter, Willa – which means the father-daughter duo got to spend a lot of time together on set. Justified: City Primeval also marks the 20-year-old’s debut acting role.
According to FX, Vivial studied songwriting at Berklee College of Music in Boston. She currently lives in New York where she studied acting at William Esper Studio. In an interview with UPROXX in July 2023, the actor said that working with his daughter was a surprise. “Well, the fact that we were working together was the biggest surprise. Honestly, that’s not something I saw coming. I don’t think most dads see that coming,” he explained. “And we were both aware that it was special and I was just really happy for her. As a parent, you just want your kids to be happy at the end of the day. And when you see your kid having so much fun, working so hard at something, I was really happy for her, felt like she was in the right place.”
The actor also revealed to The Hollywood Reporter about how his real-life daughter first got involved with the project. “When we first started talking about the idea of bringing Raylan’s teenage daughter into the story, we did not see my teenage kid playing that part. But once we started putting the show on its feet, the parallels were a little… unsettling, to say the least,” he said. “Raylan’s daugther and my daughter? Both of them, not that impressed. Seemingly, not that intimidated. Both of them really have his number. They see right through his [bleep]. We didn’t see that coming!
The rising actress shared the Justified: City Primeval poster on her Instagram on July 6, 2023. She captioned the image with a simple blue heart and tagged @justifiedfx on Instagram. Back in May 2023, she reshared an exclusive Entertainment Weekly photo depicting her and her dad on the show. “Had the pleasure of speaking with @entertainmentweekly about the new ‘Givens’ in town and what to expect from #CityPrimeval @justifiedfx,” she captioned the photo.
According to a July 2023 interview with NYLON, Vivian is also a singer-songwriter. She debuted her first single, “Lil More Reason,” exclusively on NYLON. She told the site that she wrote the song after hanging out with her parents while shooting the Justified revival in Chicago. Casual hang and conversation about the “fleeting nature of life” spurred into “existential thoughts.” “The conversation led me to worry about my lack of control in life and all the ways I could lose the people I love,” she revealed about the song’s inspiration.
Justified: City Primeval airs on Tuesdays at 10:00 p.m. on FX.
For more on Western shows, check out our gallery of the new Lawmen: Bass Reeves cast from Yellowstone creator Taylor Sheridan and Paramount+.