When Raylan Givens resurfaces in FX’s Justified: City Primeval, he won’t be alone. No, his little girl will be with him — and nearly tower over Dad!
Inspired by the late Elmore Leonard’s crime novel City Primeval: High Noon in Detroit, the FX limited series finds Raylan Givens (played again by Timothy Olyphant) still living in Miami, to which he relocated in the original series’ finale. A chance encounter on a desolate Florida highway leads Raylan to Detroit, where he crosses paths with sociopath Clement Mansell aka “The Oklahoma Wildman” (Boyd Holbrook) — all as his and Winona’s daughter Willa tags along.
Thing is, Justified ended not eight years ago, and Willa — last glimpsed as a wee tyke in the series finale — is now a full-on teenager (played by Olyphant’s real-life daughter Vivian). So, why involve Raylan’s kid in this potentially dangerous road trip, but age her up as well?
“If we went younger, my kid wouldn’t get paid,” Timothy Olyphant joked to TVLine at the TCA winter press tour.
Olyphant said that there was “a bit of a back and forth” in terms of Willa’s age in this “extension of the Justified universe” (as it is being called) and “if we could take artistic license” with it.
Olyphant and the series’ other executive producers explained that they were drawn to the idea of Raylan nearing mandatory retirement age as a U.S. Marshal just as Willa closes in on age 16 and possible emancipation from her divorced parents.
“We had talked about making her younger,” Olyphant said, “but we were attracted to the idea of, like, ‘This is a ticking clock’ where you’re about to lose her no matter what.”
The cast for Justified: City Primeval (which is on track for a summer premiere) also includes Aunjanue Ellis (Lovecraft Country) as legal eagle Carolyn Wilder, Adelaide Clemens (Rectify) as Mansell’s girlfriend Sandy, Marin Ireland (Sneaky Pete) as a Detroit cop, Norbert Leo Butz (Bloodline) and Victor Williams (The Affair) as Detroit detectives, and Vondie Curtis-Hall (For the People) as a storied bar owner.