Quentin Tarantino helped convince Timothy Olyphant to return for Justified

Timothy Olyphant in Justified
(Image credit: FX)

Justified is making a return in 2023 and it’s now been revealed that director Quentin Tarantino had a part to play in its unlikely comeback.

Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, co-showrunner Michael Dinner explained the long history of adapting Elmore Leonard’s seminal crime novel City Primeval – which features a detective on the trail of ‘Oklahoman Wildman’ Clement Mansell in Detroit.

"A lot of people had wanted to make this book before," he said. "It almost got made by [Sam] Peckinpah years ago as a movie, and [Quentin] Tarantino wanted to make it as a movie, and a lot of people wanted to play with it in television, streaming or cable."

Then, a chance phone call led to the return of Timothy Olyphant as fast-talking, even-faster-shooting lawman Raylan Givens, a role he played from 2010 to 2015 on the original Justified series.

"One day the phone rang and it was Tim Olyphant who said, ‘I've been sitting on the set [of Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood] with Quentin, and we were talking about this book, City Primeval. We thought it would make a great year of Justified,’" Dinner recalled.

Justified: City Primeval sees an older Givens – years after leaving Harlan – crossing paths with Mansell, played by Boyd Holbrook (Narcos, The Sandman).

On the new Big Bad, Dinner said, "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."

Justified: City Primeval will air on FX in summer 2023. Here are more of the new TV shows coming your way next year.

Bradley Russell

I'm the Senior Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, focusing on news, features, and interviews with some of the biggest names in film and TV. On-site, you'll find me marveling at Marvel and providing analysis and room temperature takes on the newest films, Star Wars and, of course, anime. Outside of GR, I love getting lost in a good 100-hour JRPG, Warzone, and kicking back on the (virtual) field with Football Manager. My work has also been featured in OPM, FourFourTwo, and Game Revolution.