Where is Justified City Primeval Filmed?

Image Credit: Chuck Hodes/FX

Based on the 1980 novel ‘City Primeval: High Noon in Detroit’ by Elmore Leonard and a sequel to the original series ‘Justified,’ FX’s ‘Justified: City Primeval’ is a Western crime drama series that focuses on the life of Raylan Givens as a US Marshal and a part-time father of his teen daughter. However, a chance encounter on a highway turns his settled life upside down as he finds himself in Detroit, where he comes face to face with Clement Mansell, AKA The Oklahoma Wildman.

The Oklahoma Wildman is deemed a violent sociopath who has eluded the grasp of the authorities and plans to do it again. This time, Raylan will do anything to stop him from committing further crimes and wreaking havoc on the city. Developed by Dave Andron and Michael Dinner, the show takes place in Miami and Detroit as the protagonist gets involved with The Oklahoma Wildman. Although the crime-filled streets of Detroit are portrayed ideally in the show, you are likely to ask if ‘Justified: City Primeval’ is shot in The Motor City or not.

Justified: City Primeval Filming Locations

‘Justified: City Primeval’ is filmed in Illinois, Florida, and Pennsylvania, specifically in Chicago Metropolitan Area, Miami, and Western Pennsylvania. Principal photography for the inaugural season of the spin-off series commenced in May 2022. A couple of months into the shooting process, in July 2022, the production had to be halted over security concerns as four cars broke through the set barricades while engaging in a fatal gunfight.

Despite the increased security from Sony Pictures Television after the incident, three weeks later, shooting was paused again when an incendiary device was thrown toward the set. Fortunately, it did not explode and cause harm to anybody. Finally, after several interruptions and delays, filming seemingly got wrapped up in late August 2022. Now, let’s not waste time and dive into all the specific locations that appear in the FX series!

Chicago Metropolitan Area, Illinois

A significant portion of ‘Justified: City Primeval’ is lensed in and around the Chicago Metropolitan Area, which primarily stands in for Detroit in the series. First and foremost, the production team utilizes the facilities of Chicago Studio City at 5660 West Taylor Street in Chicago’s Austin neighborhood. Sprawling across 13 acres, the film studio complex is home to six sound stages ranging in different sizes, full-furnished production office space, and everything from parking spots and office space to transportation rentals and generators. All these resources and amenities make it a worthy and suitable filming site for different productions, including ‘Justified: City Primeval.’

Apart from that, the filming unit also tapes some key portions in and around the Chicago neighborhoods of Pilsen and River North, The Drake Hotel at 140 East Walton Place, and the city of Highland Park. They set up camp near Douglass Park in Chicago, where the shooting incident mentioned above occurred on set.

While everybody was terrified, Timothy Olyphant witnessed many things that were happening and even managed to save a life. In a February 2023 episode of the ‘Conan O’Brien Needs A Friend’ podcast, the actor expanded further on these topics. He said he got a good look at a couple of shooters in the car, one holding out a pistol while the other firing a machine gun.

Olyphant also admitted to potentially saving the life of an assistant named Ashley by pushing her out of the way. He explained to O’Brien, “The reason I know her name is that I apparently saved her life. It’s the weirdest thing, I’m wearing the Raylan (Givens) wardrobe standing behind this car. This is just like the show. It’s so weird. What am I doing?.”

Miami, Florida

In August 2022, the cast and crew members of ‘Justified: City Primeval’ took the production of season 1 all the way to Miami, AKA the City of Miami, the coastal city and metropolis in Florida. Since they set up camp in various neighborhoods and beaches and shot important scenes for the show’s first season, you will likely spot numerous buildings and attractions in the backdrop. Some are the Freedom Tower, Kaseya Center, South Beach, the Miami Beach Architectural District, and Lincoln Road.

Western Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania

For shooting purposes, the production team of ‘Justified: City Primeval’ also travels to the region of Western Pennsylvania, especially areas in and around Pittsburgh. Specifically, a few pivotal portions of the last episode of season 1 were reportedly recorded in State Correctional Institution – Greensburg. Situated directly off of U.S. Route 119 in Hempfield Township, it was a Medium-Security prison officially shut down in June 2013.

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