We Should Thank Tarantino for Justified: City Primeval Revival, Apparently

We Should Thank Tarantino for Justified: City Primeval Revival, Apparently
Image credit: FX, Legion-Media

We can be grateful to Quentin Tarantino for so many things he did for the movie industry.

And it has recently come to light that there's another thing we should thank the renowned filmmaker for – the revival of Justified: City Primeval for TV miniseries starring Timothy Olyphant as Deputy US Marshal Raylan Givens. Justified aired for six seasons on FX and wrapped up in 2015.

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, showrunners Dave Andron and Michael Dinner revealed how they wanted to adapt the 1980 book City Primeval by Elmore Leonard when they got a call from none other than Timothy Olyphant.

It turned out that the actor was calling right from the Once Upon a Time in Hollywood set where he discussed the book with Quentin Tarantino, a great fan of Leonard's books.

"[O]ne day the phone rang, and it was Tim Olyphant who said, 'I've been sitting on the set with Quentin, and we were talking about this book, City Primeval. We thought it would make a great year of Justified'," the showrunners recalled. This is how they got focused on the idea and brought in FX.

However, there were some problems because of the rights situation. Part of the rights belonged to the Elmore Leonard Estate, part belonged to MGM, which was going to make this movie several times. Sorting this out did take some time, Dinner said.

Interestingly, Quentin Tarantino himself wanted to make a movie based on Elmore Leonard's book – just like Sam Peckinpah. There were numerous attempts to adapt it on television, streaming or cable too. So, the idea was to do a mashup between the book and the character of Raylan Givens, who the showrunners hold so dear. They have no plans to revisit the past but instead catapulted him into this new story, a new world, which has witnessed so many major transformations both politically and sociologically.

In addition to Timothy Olyphant, Justified: City Primeval will star his daughter Vivian (as Raylan Givens' daughter), Aunjanue Ellis, Boyd Holbrook, Adelaide Clemens and Vondie Curtis Hall. The show will be produced by the same team, which made the Justified series a success.

Author Elmore Leonard described the show as one of the best adaptations of his works and noted that casting Olyphant as Raylan was a great decision. He was "the kind of guy I saw when I wrote his lines," he said of the actor in 2012 (via).

Justified: City Primeval is scheduled to be released on FX in the middle of 2023.