How close did Quentin Tarantino get to directing Justified: City Primeval?

Quentin Tarantino was once set to helm Justified: City Primeval, but just how close did he get to directing the series?

Justified: City Primeval, Quentin Tarantino

Justified: City Primeval is based on Elmore Leonard’s crime novel City Primeval: High Noon in Detroit and features the return of Timothy Olyphant as Raylan Givens. Once upon a time, Quentin Tarantino was rumoured to be attached to direct an episode or two of Justified: City Primeval, but how close did he actually get?

Quentin Tarantino is no stranger to the work of Elmore Leonard, as Jackie Brown was based on Leonard’s Rum Punch. Justified: City Primeval co-showrunner Michael Dinner knew that Tarantino had an interest in Leonard and told THR that they just decided to ask him if he wanted to do it.

To be really honest, our intention was never to involve him in it,” Michael Dinner said. “And then, as we got the room together and we got the green light, we were saying, ‘Well, if he really did whisper sweet nothings in Tim’s ear, maybe we should ask him, for fun, if he’d wanna do it.’ And so Dave and I actually sent him either the pilot or the first two episodes, and he loved it. He had a few thoughts, but it was just a few things. And then we slipped him the third and the fourth episodes, which he really loved. And so the intention was that he was gonna do an episode. We actually had moved some stuff from the fourth episode into the third episode, because he said, “Well, I really loved the top of [the fourth episode],” and then we actually moved it back in [the fourth episode].

Michael Dinner continued, saying that Quentin Tarantino had to turn down the Justified: City Primeval gig just weeks before he was due to start. “Probably about two weeks before he was supposed to start prep, he called up and said, ‘Look, I can’t do it for some private reasons,’” Dinner explained. ” So we had to scramble, and I asked an old friend of mine and an old friend of the show, Jon Avnet, if he’d come and pinch it.

At the end of the day, Dinner said that Tarantino’s involvement in the series was “more of a cheerleader than anything else.” Dinner continued, “He passed along a few notes for episode three, and we did pull out part of episode four and put it into [episode three]. It was kind of a deconstructive narrative in episode four, but we actually went back to that when he didn’t do it. We actually shot it as he would’ve shot it, and then we moved some of the stuff back. But he certainly was there in spirit. People who’ve done Elmore love doing Elmore, and he’s one of those people who completely understands Elmore’s work and Elmore’s world. So it would’ve been fun to do it with him, but it didn’t work out.

You can check out a glowing review of Justified: City Primeval from our own Alex Maidy right here.

Source: THR

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Based in Canada, Kevin Fraser has been a news editor with JoBlo since 2015. When not writing for the site, you can find him indulging in his passion for baking and adding to his increasingly large collection of movies that he can never find the time to watch.