Just when I finished a rant about the glut of revivals and reboots, news of Justified returning—or its creative forces, anyway—in some form has me eating my hat. According to Variety, FX is developing a series based on Elmore Leonard’d novel City Primeval: High Noon in Detroit. The project will reunite the original Justified team:
Justified creator Graham Yost will serve as executive producer, with Justified writers and executive producers Michael Dinner and Dave Andron onboard to co-write, executive produce, and serve as co-showrunners. Dinner will also direct. Chris Provenzano, Sarah Timberman and Carl Beverly of Timberman-Beverly, VJ Boyd, and Taylor Elmore will all return as executive producers. Peter Leonard of the Elmore Leonard Estate will executive produce in association with MGM. Walter Mosely will serve as a consulting producer, as will Ingrid Escajeda. Eisa Davis will produce. Sony Pictures Television will serve as the studio, as they did on Justified.
Though the series is in its very earliest stages, there are already rumors that Timothy Olyphant could make a return as the iconic U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens, although in what capacity (as a lead or a secondary role) is unclear. (Look, if he could play a third marshal character in The Mandalorian, anything is possible; it’s not Kentucky, but we’ll take it).
So technically this is not a revival, but nevertheless it should be said that Justified was the rare kind of TV series that was able to end on its own terms, giving us one of the best finales—and best lines—in all of television: “We dug coal together.” While I’m usually extremely hesitant to revisit beloved characters in new eras, in this case it could actually work. Raylan’s stories, as penned by Leonard, were always serialized in nature. Seeing him return in any form could be a unique case of this being a good idea. (Olyphant also reprised his role as another marshal, Seth Bullock, in the Deadwood movie, which came out over a decade after that show ended—although that series had ended so poorly that we really needed to return to it).
Given FX’s strong track record with drama series, I’m approaching this news with cautious optimism and excitement.
Allison Keene is the TV Editor of Paste Magazine. For more television talk, pop culture chat and general japery, you can follow her @keeneTV
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