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2022
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Quentin Tarantino Will NOT Be Directing ‘Justified: City Primeval,’ Sources Tell SCREEN

Last updated: April 28, 2022

Chicago was abuzz on the news that Academy Award winner Quentin Tarantino would be directing an episode of the new FX series Justified: City Primeval this May. Unfortunately, sources tell SCREEN it’s looking like those plans have been scuttled, and the Pulp Fiction writer-director will no longer be directing the FX limited series reboot of Justified. But the good news is the series is still moving forward full steam ahead, with an anticipated start date of May 7th, filming in the Chicagoland area through the end of July.

So why did Tarantino step away from directing the first episode of Justified: City Primeval? Those details have not been made available, with sources telling SCREEN simply that the first episode will now be directed by Michael Dinner, Timothy Olyphant will still be reprising his role as U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens, and filming begins next month.

As SCREEN reported earlier this Spring, the production will be headquarted at Chicago Studio City.

Timothy Olyphant will be reprising his role as U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens

Seven years on from the end of FX’s Justified, Sony Pictures Television and FX Productions are producing their latest Elmore Leonard adaptation, based on the author’s novel City Primeval: High Noon In Detroit. Sources tell SCREEN Justified: City Primeval will begin filming in Chicago on or near May 2nd through early September, and Offices for the series opened at the studio this week.

What had initially attracted Tarantino to the limited television series? Optimism and anticipation were abounding, as Deadline reported, “While most felt like Tarantino’s next turn behind the camera would be his final feature film, there is a lot of symmetry here. Tarantino and Olyphant worked together on the director’s most recent film, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. There also was the filmmaker’s devotion to Elmore Leonard, who created the Givens character. Tarantino adapted the Leonard novel Rum Punch into Jackie Brown. He optioned several Leonard titles during his career and has talked about possibly directing one of his Westerns, Forty Lashes Less One. The limited series is using as source material another Leonard title, the 1980 novel City Primeval: High Noon in Detroit, subbing the Givens character in for the original protagonist.”

What to Expect from Justified: City Primeval

The show returns to Givens’ story eight years after he’s left Kentucky and now is based in Miami, balancing life as a marshal and part-time father of a 14-year-old girl. A chance encounter on a Florida highway sends him to Detroit and he crosses paths with Clement Mansell, aka The Oklahoma Wildman, a violent sociopath who’s already slipped through the fingers of Detroit’s finest once and wants to do so again.

Justified was one of the most critically acclaimed shows of the past decade and an adaptation of Elmore Leonard’s work that was so colorfully brought to life by Timothy Olyphant as Raylan Givens, Graham Yost and the entire team of producers, writers, directors and cast,” said Eric Schrier, President of FX Entertainment. “To have this group come together again with Tim as Raylan in a new and different Elmore Leonard story is thrilling. I want to thank our showrunners Dave and Michael and their fellow executive producers Tim, Graham, Sarah and Carl, the Elmore Leonard estate as well as our partners at Sony Pictures Television, for making this possible.”

“When Justified concluded, the love and affection for this exceptional series only grew and left audiences craving more Raylan Givens,” added President of Sony Pictures Television Studios, Jeff Frost and Co-President, Jason Clodfelter. “The iconic Elmore Leonard was one of the premier authors of our time, and no one has quite captured his tone and authenticity as well as this Justified team.”

Let’s take a quick look back at the inaugural season of Justified as we look ahead to this new spinoff…

Star Timothy Olyphant Among Executive Producers

Olyphant also is executive producing alongside showrunners and writers Dave Andron and Michael Dinner and original creator Graham Yost, with Dinner expected to direct multiple episodes, including the series premiere, as noted earlier in this article. Michael Dinner has brought multiple series to Chicago, including The Beast, Electric Dreams, The Mob Doctor, and the 90’s classic Chicago Hope.

Sarah Timberman and Carl Beverly are also executive producers, alongside Peter Leonard, Taylor Elmore and Chris Provenzano. Walter Mosley is consulting producer and V.J. Boyd, Eisa Davis and Ingrid Escajeda are writers.

Be sure to check back here at SCREEN Magazine for news on Justified: City Primeval, as there are many announcements ahead, including cast, crew, release dates, and shooting locations. You can also click right here to subscribe to our weekly email newsletter.

Photo Credit: Quentin Tarantino Photo by Gage Skidmore is licensed under the Creative Commons CC BY-SA 3.0 License.

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