Michael C. Hall agreed to reprise his titular Dexter role for Showtime’s upcoming revival in part because of the sour note the original series ended on seven years ago.
“Let’s be real: people found the way that show left things pretty unsatisfying,” the actor tells The Daily Beast, “and there’s always been a hope that a story would emerge that would be worth telling. I include myself in the group of people that wondered, ‘What the hell happened to that guy?’ So I’m excited to step back into it. I’ve never had that experience of playing a character this many years on.”
In October, Showtime announced that it had ordered a 10-episode Dexter limited series, with original EP Clyde Phillips back as showrunner. The new iteration — or quasi ninth season — will reveal what Hall’s vigilante alter ego has been up to following the much-maligned 2013 series finale. The swan song, which TVLine readers gave an average “D” grade to, featured the death of this main character and sent Dexter into fake death-imposed exile in the middle of nowhere (AKA the infamous Lumberjack Ending).
“I certainly thought it was justifiable for Dexter to do what he did,” Hall maintains of the incendiary conclusion. “I think some of the criticisms were about that, and some of the criticisms weren’t so much about the ‘what’ as they were about the ‘how,’ and those were valid… We certainly do live in an era where the bar is very high as far as the simultaneous surprise, satisfaction, and closure that should go along with a series finale.”
Ironically, another Hall series, HBO’s Six Feet Under, is partly responsible for setting that high bar — a fact that is not lost on the actor, who acknowledges, “I’ve dabbled in the extremes of ‘extremely satisfying’ and ‘extremely dissatisfying’ television finales.”
Hall says conversations with Showtime about revisiting Dexter have been “ongoing,” with “different possibilities” emerging “over the years.” What was it about this particular pitch that clicked for him? “The story that’s being told is worth telling in a way that other proposals [weren’t],” he shares. “And I think enough time has passed where it’s become intriguing in a way that it wasn’t before.”
For his part, Phillips shared in a recent interview with THR that he views the new series as “a great opportunity to write a second finale.” However, he insisted that the revival would not right/recon any specific perceived wrongs from that original finale. “We’re not undoing anything,” he maintained. “We’re not going to betray the audience and say, ‘Whoops, that was all a dream.’ What happened in the first eight years happened in the first eight years.”
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