The new Justified revival finally premiered on FX – and you might notice that a familiar villain does not appear in the anticipated new series. Why isn’t Boyd Crowder in Justified City: Primeval? We have the answer below.
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. Ophyant’s real-life daughter, Vivian Olyphant, even stars as his 15-year-old daughter, Willa, in the project.
But fans of Justified who turn into the revival will quickly notice that a fan-favorite villain is not present in the series. Walton Goggins portrayed career criminal Boyd Crowder in Justified, who was initially introduced as one of Givens’ childhood friends who turned bad. Over the show’s six seasons, Crowder’s highly controversial character took many roles, from being a white supremacist bank robber and a coal miner to a born-again Christian pastor in prison. Goggins recently spoke more about Boyd in an interview with Vanity Fair in June 2023.
“As much as people thought Boyd was full of [bleep], I think if you rewatch it, there was an underlying truth to everything that he was saying,” Goggins said. “He just wanted to be better than the set of circumstances that he was given.” He also revealed that he is not in the upcoming sequel (more on that below). “I’ll be front row, man—I can’t [bleeping] wait to see Raylan Givens back in a cowboy hat,” he added.
So, why isn’t Boyd Crowder in Justified City: Primeval? Keep reading to find out.
Why isn’t Boyd Crowder in Justified City: Primeval?
Why isn’t Boyd Crowder in Justified: City Primeval? The actor revealed the real reason in an interview (conducted before the actors’ strike) with The Wrap in July 2023. “There’s a season, kind of, for everything,” Goggins said. He also told the site that his choice to stay out of the show wasn’t “one-sided.” “This isn’t the right place and time.”
He continued: “But I can’t wait to see it, and I can’t wait to see Raylan Givens again. Tim [Olyphant] is such a wonderful actor and Boyd Holbrook — I love him. I’ll be there. I’ll be watching it to the bitter end.”
Goggins’ lack of involvement could be attributed to the fact that the revival takes place hundreds of miles away from when his character and Givens last crossed paths. But the actor’s ambiguous answer might suggest that there might be a time and place for Crowder to return. We’ll keep you updated as we learn more!
The 51-year-old actor currently stars in HBO’s dark comedy The Righteous Gemstones. Since Justified, he’s appeared in the TV shows Invincible, I’m a Virgo, George & Tammy, The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey, The Unicorn and more.
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+.