Showtime has fixed Ray Donovan‘s cancellation, ordering a “feature-length” film that will pick up where Season 7 left off. The news comes one year after the premium cabler pulled the plug on the Liev Schreiber-fronted series in a move that drew widespread shock and bewilderment.
Schreiber is, of course, confirmed to reprise his titular role for the movie, as are Jon Voight as Ray’s pa Mickey Donovan and Kerris Dorsey as Ray’s daughter Bridget. Showrunner David Hollander will co-write the script (with Schreiber) and also direct.
The film — which will begin production later this year in New York ahead of an expected 2022 premiere on Showtime — will be set in the immediate aftermath of the Season 7 finale, with Mickey on the run and Ray determined to find and stop him before he can cause any more carnage. “It will also weave together the present-day fallout from the Donovan/Sullivan feud with Ray and Mickey’s origin story from 30 years ago,” per Showtime.
“When Ray Donovan went off our air after seven great seasons, we heard from so many of its loyal fans that they were not ready to say goodbye to Ray and the wonderfully dysfunctional Donovan clan,” said Showtime president Gary Levine in a statement. “And so, for them, we are delighted that Liev and David are creating a thrilling new chapter of this iconic series.”
Shortly after Ray Donovan‘s Feb. 2020 axing, Schreiber hinted at the series’ eventual return on social media. “It’s hard to describe how amazing it feels to those of us in the Ray Donovan family who have been lucky enough to experience the overwhelming love and support that you all have expressed for our show since the news broke that Ray would not return,” the actor wrote on Feb. 12. “What’s even more incredible is that it seems your voices have been heard. Too soon to say how or when, but with a little luck and your continued support, there will be more Ray Donovan. So to all the Donofans who got their bats out and beat the odds. Thank you.”
The Feb. 4 cancellation came as a shock not only to fans, but to the show’s cast and crew as well. “We had no indicator that the show was ending,” showrunner David Hollander said, adding that a Season 8 was definitely already in the works. “We were behaving creatively as though we were in mid-sentence. And so, there was no sense that this was going to be a completion. This was in no way a series finale.”
Season 8, which was intended to be the final season, would’ve showcased the backstory of Ray’s family, Hollander teased, by bringing it into the present: “There were actually two stories to be told: What happened then, really, and how will that impact what happens now? The next step was what happened with Ray and Mickey in the ’90s, which would have been the creation of Ray Donovan as a character and as a fixer.”