Timothy Olyphant May Return as 'Justified' Character Raylan Givens in New Elmore Leonard Series
Timothy Olyphant might soon reprise one of his most famous roles.
According to a new report from Variety, the team behind the FX series Justified is reuniting to adapt another Elmore Leonard novel for that network, and rumor has it Olyphant could once again step into the role of Deputy U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens, the modern cowboy and lead character of Justified. Get details about the new FX series below.
Variety reports that Justified alums Graham Yost, Michael Dinner, Dave Andron, Chris Provenzano, Sarah Timberman, Carl Beverly, VJ Boyd, and Taylor Elmore will all return as executive producers of City Primeval: High Noon in Detroit, a new FX adaptation of Elmore Leonard’s novel. (The prolific author also wrote Fire in the Hole, the short story on which Justified was based.) Dinner and Andron will co-write the series and serve as the co-showrunners, with Dinner also directing.
The City Primeval novel, which was published in 2012, tells the story of a psychopathic killer named Clement Mansell, nicknamed the “Oklahoma Wildman,” and a dedicated Detroit homicide detective named Raymond Cruz who vows to take him down. Though the Raylan Givens character has shown up in multiple Leonard novels over the years, he does not actually appear in this book. But according to Variety’s sources,”the project is in the very early stages, nothing is set in stone as of yet, meaning Olyphant could star in the series or appear in a smaller role, but no deal has yet been made.”
Justified premiered in 2010 and really found its groove in its incredible second season, which brought in acclaimed character actress Margot Martindale as Mags Bennett, a dangerous matriarch overseeing an illegal operation in the Kentucky hills. Olyphant was always great on the show (as was his foil, who was played by Walton Goggins), but as TV critic Alan Sepinwall noted on Twitter, “the conceit a lawman who finds legally justified ways to kill people plays very differently now than it did when that show was on.” There might be enough goodwill built up for the Raylan character to potentially overcome that hurdle, but there’s no denying that shows about police officers or lawmen are going to be viewed through a new lens moving forward. (See also: Brooklyn Nine-Nine‘s final season being completely overhauled in the wake of George Floyd’s murder.)
Oddly enough, Justified‘s 2015 series finale wasn’t the last time fans saw Olyphant don that cowboy hat and step into Raylan’s boots. The actor reprised the role in the final season of NBC’s comedy series The Good Place in a brief but hilarious cameo, so there’s precedent for him popping up elsewhere on the small screen.
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