One of the best series on TV in the early 2010s was FX’s “Justified,” a modern-day western spin on an Elmore Leonard short story that turned into a compelling, character-centric crime drama meets black comedy.
After six seasons, the series closed out in 2015, but will soon see a brief revival with the upcoming limited series “Justified: City Primeval” again inspired by a short Leonard work. Timothy Olyphant returns as Deputy U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens in the new run, which shifts the action from Kentucky to Miami eight years later, with Givens now a part-time father.
Trouble soon arrives when he heads to Detroit to pursue Clement Mansell (Boyd Holbrook), a violent, sociopathic desperado known as The Oklahoma Wildman who is on the run from the police. In addition, Givens finds himself dealing with trauma from his past.
Holbrook’s bad guy will be quite different from Walton Goggins’ iconic antagonist Boyd Crowder from the original series according to showrunners Dave Andron and Michael. Speaking with EW, Andron says:
“This story is really going to be about Raylan and his demons and his past and trying to move forward at this point in his life. We had to create a new foil for him and somebody who’s still a little bit of a mirror, but also a big obstacle.
Thankfully we had a template of a character from Elmore that we got to start with. The book was written in the late ’70s, and published in the ’80s, so we had to bring that character into the present. But it was a really daunting thing, coming up with, who’s this really great bad guy?
And we were lucky enough to have Boyd Holbrook come on and play Clement Mansell, who is, for those who really love Elmore’s crime fiction, one of his better bad guys, maybe his baddest bad guy.”
Dinner says Mansell is more dangerous than Boyd in some aspects, especially as Givens grew up with an understanding of Crowder:
“With this guy, Clement Mansell, he’s so unpredictable, and at a time when Raylan himself is seven, eight years older, so it’s not only who he is physically, but also because he’s so unpredictable.
Boyd Crowder had kind of an amoral code, but he still had a code. I’m not sure that Clement Mansell, the bad guy in this, does at all. And that makes him really dangerous. It’s a pretty formidable antagonist for our protagonist.”
Aunjanue Ellis, Adelaide Clemens, Vondie Curtis-Hall, Marin Ireland, Norbert Leo Butz, Victor Williams and Vivian Olyphant co-star in the FX series, which will consist of eight episodes and is set to premiere mid-2023.