Timothy Olyphant talks about his love for Chicago, and the Justified series

Timothy Olyphant (credit: Chuch Hodes/FX)

From the Television Critics Association winter press event, an interview with Timothy Olyphant, and the showrunners and executive producers of Justified: City Primeval gave us some inside information about Olyphant’s commitment to the Justified series and his love for Chicago.


A screening of the trailer (which is expected to drop soon) was followed by a conversation with a panel on stage including Olyphant and Executive Producers Graham YostPeter Leonard and Sarah Timberman, and the showrunners Michael Dinner and Dave Andron.

When Olyphant was asked if he had concerns about returning to the series he responded with, “My biggest concern was that I’d only make a pile of money.” He then added, “I didn’t have any concerns. I love these guys (motioning to the panel) I thought as long as we were still in the Elmore Leonard world and the Graham Yost world that the two of them created, I just thought I’d be there for it.”

Timothy Olyphant (credit: FX Networks)

Sarah Timberman commented that Justified: City Primeval was an extension of Justified the original series, “It’s an extension of the show in a storytelling mode, even if it’s Detroit. I think this show repeats what Justified did so well, which is create these really detailed universes, people who aren’t good guys or bad guys, but grey guys.”

Olyphant commented about his final day of filming on the original Justified, “I felt a very deep sadness when we ended the show, but not because of the character — because of the people I had been working with. I cried like a baby on that last day.”

When Olyphant was then asked if he’d be up for more “extensions” he said, “I’d show up.”

He was asked about the shooting incident that occurred on set — two cars that were engaged in a high speed shootout drove through the barriers of the set while filming. It was said that when the incident occurred, Olyphant shielded a production assistant.

Olyphant replied, “Not true. I shielded numerous people.”

When asked if he would ever film again in Chicago he responded, “In terms of shooting in Chicago, I love that town. Apparently a hundred rounds or so is not enough to fall out of love with Chicago.”

Michael Dinner added, “I joke if it weren’t for the weather, I’d be living there. It’s such a great place, great people to work with.” He continued, “We live in dangerous times. Any urban environment. We just live in a different world than it was twenty or thirty years ago. Chicago is a great place to live, it’s a great place to work. What happened that night was terrible. It was also an aberration.”


Timothy Olyphant (credit: FX Networks)

The original Justified ran for six seasons on FX from 2010-2015 and won two out of the eight Emmy Award nominations the show received, and also won a Peabody Award. The series was based on Elmore Leonard’s novella Fire in the Hole, with Leonard consulting with the producers until his death in 2013.

The new 8-episode limited spinoff series is titled Justified: City Primeval and is inspired by Leonard’s novel City Primeval: High Noon in Detroit. The series picks up seven years following the end of FX’s critically-acclaimed Justified, returning to U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens’ (played by original series star Timothy Olyphant) story after he left Kentucky for his new home base in Miami. Viewers can expect to find Raylan balancing life as a marshal and part-time father of 14-year-old Willa, who will be played by Olyphant’s real-life daughter Vivian Olyphant. Aunjanue Ellis, Boyd Holbrook, Adelaide Clemens, Marin Ireland, Norbert Leo Butz, Victor Williams, and Vondie Curtis Hall co-star in the series.

A chance encounter on a desolate Florida highway sends Givens to Detroit. There he crosses paths with Clement Mansell, deemed The Oklahoma Wildman, a violent, sociopathic desperado who’s already once slipped through the fingers of Detroit’s finest once and is set out to do so again.

Justified: City Primeval was filmed on location in Chicago and on the stages at Chicago Studio City. The series is expected to air on FX this summer.

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