How Tarantino helped Justified: City Primeval get made

No stranger to westerns or Elmore Leonard, Quentin Tarantino knew five years ago that City Primeval would make for great Justified material.

Quentin Tarantino justified city primeval

On the verge of the premiere of miniseries Justified: City Primeval next week, its origins have become clear, with writer/director Quentin Tarantino having influenced its early development.

As it turns out, Quentin Tarantino had a hand in getting the project off the ground back in 2018. While filming Once Upon a Time in Hollywood with Justified star Timothy Olyphant (who played Lancer star James Stacy in the movie), Tarantino got to talking about the Elmore Leonard book “City Primeval” as a potential inspiration for a season of the FX series.

While the pitch from Tarantino and Olyphant didn’t pan out right away, Justified: City Primeval co-showrunner Michael Dinner was able to use it once he got FX on board for a continuation, telling IndieWire, “They said, ‘What are you thinking about doing?’ And I said, ‘Are you familiar with “City Primeval”?’ They said, ‘Yeah, Tim pitched that to us a year ago.’ I said, ‘Well, let me pitch it to you as its own thing, and you tell me if you want to do it as its own thing or as a season of “Justified.””

This season, according to Michael Dinner, is a “second act” for Olyphant’s character, Raylan Givens. “We have a character who’s in a different place in his life. The road in front of him is a lot shorter than the road behind him…We’ll see if the audience responds to this, and then FX will have a decision to make [on the future of the Justified universe[. I know Tim would love to do it. Dave Andron would love to do it. I’d love to see where Raylan ends up. That would make me very, very happy.”

Quentin Tarantino actually almost had even closer ties to Justified: City Primeval, as he was once reportedly attached to helm an episode or two. Keep in mind that Tarantino has allowed himself to direct television as a bit of a loophole around his 10-movie retirement rule.

Even without Quentin Tarantino behind the camera, Justified: City Primeval is earning some major praise, with our own Alex Maidy giving it a 10/10 (you can read his rave review here.)

Are you looking forward to Justified: City Primeval? How do you think Quentin Tarantino would have done directing an episode of the Justified continuation? Give us your thoughts in the comments section below!

Source: IndieWire

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Mathew is an East Coast-based writer and film aficionado who has been working with JoBlo.com periodically since 2006. When he’s not writing, you can find him on Letterboxd or at a local brewery. If he had the time, he would host the most exhaustive The Wonder Years rewatch podcast in the universe.