Showtime’s much-anticipated new season of Dexter hosted a [email protected] panel, teasing fans with an incredible bunch of delicious tidbits as well as announcing the 10-episode revival will premiere on November 7, 2021. Series star and executive producer Michael C. Hall joined series newcomer Julia Jones along showrunner/executive producer Clyde Phillips, executive producer Scott Reynolds, and director/executive producer Marcos Siega for the virtual panel which included a new teaser trailer.
Michael C. Hall admitted he’s been leery about reviving Dexter but believes that enough time has passed that now it works to check in on America’s favorite serial killer. “It’s hard to point to just one thing. I think it’s certainly due in large part to the time that passed, to a sense of readiness on my part, and certainly, the chance to collaborate again with Clyde and Scott and Marcos directing,” explained Hall. “That was a huge part of what ultimately allowed me to take a leap of faith.”
Journalist Kristin Dos Santos did an outstanding job moderating the panel, touching on key questions Dexter fans have about the upcoming ninth season. Dos Santos didn’t let the group off the hook and instead brought up the fact fans were deeply disappointed in the series finale.
Hall confirmed the fact the ending wasn’t well-received was a huge part of why he wanted to come back. “I think the ending was mystifying, at best, to people. Confounding, exasperating, frustrating…on down the line of negative adjectives. I think this is a show that is very important to all of us and the chance to revisit it and maybe in the process redefine the sense of the show’s ending and the sense of the show’s legacy more broadly was certainly a part of our motivation. No doubt,” said Hall.
Executive producer Scott Reynolds summarized the season eight finale, reminding fans that Dexter ended up in Oregon working as a lumberjack. He’s surrounded by the sounds of chainsaws – a reminder of his mom’s death. “It was ambiguous about like is he here to be a part of the land of serial killers or is the sound of chainsaws that he’s surrounded by going to be the thing that keeps him abstinent? Those are the things that we answer in this new season,” explained Reynolds.
And speaking of abstinence, Hall said Dexter made a choice at the end of the series to go into a self-imposed exile. “I think he’s doing a very, very long protracted penance for the people who’ve died who were close to him and not intended victims because of how he’d been living…how he perhaps was playing fast and loose with the code, etc., etc.,” explained Hall. “I think as far abstinence goes, as I imagine it, I think Dexter is maybe exercising the power of his restraint. That his ability to not do it is something that he fixates on as a new kind of power. It’s the only way I can imagine him living without killing…if in fact he hasn’t been killing.”
Hall added, “When we meet him, I think he’s in a place where he realizes that – or at least he’s encouraged to believe – that he can’t have his cake and eat it too. That if he wants to live a life and continue to do this very quiet, unacknowledged penance for what he’s done, he’s not going to be able to go around killing people. And if he’s going around killing people, he’s going to struggle to have much of a life outside an allegiance to that. Though he does maintain, I think, a fantasy that he can manage to do both.”
Marcos Siega directs six of the 10 episodes of season nine, with the episodes shot simultaneously. “The approach was from a production standpoint we’re going to film this like a movie, but we’re making a 10-hour movie so it’s just a lot of material to keep tabs on. The conversations I had with the cast were just, ‘Be prepared. If you have questions let’s talk in advance.’ But I’ve got to say everyone shows up on the day. We’re mixing and matching episodes and we haven’t had any hiccups,” said Siega. “The cast has been fantastic and it looks beautiful. The scripts are amazing.”
As far as familiar Dexter cast members returning, showrunner/executive producer Clyde Phillips wouldn’t divulge anything specific. “I will say that there will be some returning cast members from the original series that will make some people’s brains explode,” said Phillips. “Everybody that we reached out to – which implies more than one – said, ‘Hell yeah, I’d love to. Let’s make the deal, I’ll be there.’
I was watching Michael’s Golden Globes acceptance speech the other day and he was talking about how committed everybody is on every level of the show – cast members, crew members, the network, everybody – and how delightful it was. That’s how it really was and that’s how it is once again. And when we reached out to the former cast members that we reached out to, it was met every time with great enthusiasm every time. ‘What can I do? I’ll change my schedule. I’ll be there.’”
Asked what it was like being back in Dexter’s skin, Hall replied, “It felt strange but mostly because of how strange it didn’t feel. It was a sense of time compressing, starting to wonder if all the time that’s passed since we last did it to now actually was a dream. It’s wild. It’s wild to reactive something that you thought was gone.”
Clyde Phillips believes the finale for this 10-episode ninth season is going to blow up the internet. “You know when we sit in the writing room, one of the first things we do is talk about – usually – what the ending will be. We call that putting our nose against the ending and then walking backward and filling in all the either 10 or 12 episodes. The ending of this one will be stunning, shocking, surprising, unexpected, and without jinxing anything I will say that the ending of this new season that what we’re doing will blow up the internet.”
- Dexter’s going by Jim Lindsay which is a nod to the real-life author of Darkly Dreaming Dexter, Jeff Lindsay.
- The story leaps forward nearly a decade.
- The small-town setting of Iron Lake, New York may help keep Dexter from finding as many victims.
- Dexter still has a collection of knives, per the teaser.
- Julia Jones’ character is in law enforcement which means Dexter once again has an in with cops.