Dexter: John Lithgow Clarifies His Role in the Upcoming Sequel Series

John Lithgow has clarified the nature of his involvement in Showtime’s upcoming Dexter sequel series. While it was reported that the actor’s role was small enough to only necessitate a single afternoon of shooting in Los Angeles, Lithgow still had details to share about the nature of the project and how his reprisal of the role of Arthur Mitchell, aka The Trinity Killer, factors into it.

Spoilers follow for Dexter.

Reports that Lithgow would be returning as the Trinity Killer sent some Dexter fans into a combination of excitement and confusion. Lithgow’s tenure on the original series was brief, as his character bit the bullet in the Season 4 finale. Lithgow has clarified that there are no supernatural elements to his return to the series, stating that the Trinity Killer will only be seen in flashback.

“As all Dexter fans know, we saw the end of the Trinity Killer, so that by definition means it’s a flashback,” Lithgow told Deadline. “It was just wonderful to rejoin that gang — including Michael and Jennifer Carpenter, and Clyde Phillips.”

Lithgow also offered some insight into how the sequel series will differentiate itself from Dexter’s initial eight-season run.

“I learned that it’s completely different from [the original series]… it’s a reimagination,” Lithgow said. “They don’t take it into a different era, but it’s in a different part of the world, a different part of the country, and [has] a whole new cast of characters.”

Lithgow went on to share that he first learned of plans for a Dexter revival approximately 5 months before shooting began. Showrunner Clyde Phillips asked if he would return for a brief role in the sequel series.

“He said, ‘Can you come just to spend one day in The Berkshires?’” Lithgow said. “I said, ‘Of course I can,’ and that’s exactly what it was.”

Lithgow’s performance on Dexter is still seen as a highlight of the series by many fans. The actor’s work drew critical acclaim, with Lithgow earning his fifth Emmy in 2010 in the category of Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series.

Lithgow also scored his 13th Emmy nomination this morning for his supporting turn in HBO’s period drama series Perry Mason. The show premiered in June 2020 and has since been renewed for a second season by the network.


J. Kim Murphy is a freelance entertainment writer.

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