It’s been nearly seven years since FX’s Justified wrapped its sixth and final season. The series, based on Elmore Leonard’s Raylan Givens stories, received consistent critical acclaim throughout its run. It also used Timothy Olyphant’s steely-eyed charisma better than almost any other film or TV show.
Now FX is working on bringing the series back in the form of Justified: City Primeval, a limited series expected to premiere in 2023. The revival will borrow heavily from Leonard’s 1980 novel, City Primeval: High Noon in Detroit, and will see Olyphant reprise his role as Deputy U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens.
That said, Olyphant isn’t the series’ only notable star.
The Return of Justified — 2023 is shaping up to be a massive year for Boyd Holbrook, who received praise this year for his scene-stealing turn as The Corinthian in Season 1 of Netflix’s The Sandman. Not only is the actor set to appear in Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, but he’s also been cast as the primary antagonist in Justified: City Primeval. According to Holbrook, FX’s revival may be even more interesting than fans expect.
During a recent interview with Inverse, Holbrook said, “I have Justified: City Primeval coming out in the spring. That's going to be fantastic. I saw some cuts of that. It’s kind of like Logan on bath salts.” The actor also noted that he’ll appear in the limited series as Clement Mansel, calling the “wild” character “Elmore Leonard's best villain in his book.”
A Different Kind of Western — Holbrook, of course, is more qualified to make comparisons to 2017’s Logan than most, having appeared in the James Mangold-directed blockbuster as one of its villains, Donald Pierce. Now it sounds like City Primeval has given Holbrook a chance to return to the same neo-western genre that made Logan so unique.
That won’t necessarily come as a major surprise to Justified fans, as the original FX series was essentially a classic western transposed into a modern-day setting. Holbrook’s mention of “bath salts” does, however, suggest that City Primeval will be a bit more surreal than Justified fans may expect.
Either way, Holbrook’s comment only further reinforces City Primeval’s status as one of next year’s most intriguing TV titles.
The Inverse Analysis — Very little has been revealed about the plot of Justified: City Primeval, but the series is expected to follow Olyphant’s Raylan Givens as he journeys to Detroit to help their police force track down Holbrook’s Clement Mansel, a.k.a. “The Oklahoma Wildman.” In Elmore Leonard’s novel, it’s Mansel’s ability to get away with murder by exploiting various holes in the legal system that makes him such a point of interest.
Mansel has the potential to be one of the most memorable villains that Olyphant’s Raylan has ever faced. City Primeval should therefore give Holbrook a chance to sink his teeth into the role of yet another memorable bad guy.
Justified: City Primeval is expected to premiere on FX in 2023.