Dexter season 9, officially known as Dexter: New Blood, has a confirmed release date: November 7, 2021. Fans of the blood spatter analyst thought they'd seen the last of him in 2013, when the serial killer abandoned his Floridian life of slaughter and deceit, escaping behind his beard under the anonymous guise of an Oregon lumberjack.
Based on the novels by Jeff Lindsay, the Showtime series premiered in 2006 and ran for eight seasons. Michael C. Hall starred in the show as Dexter Morgan whose thirst for murder is justified by his strict adherence to his late father's moral code – he only kills those who have escaped justice.
The series is getting the revival treatment, reuniting Hall with a handful of special returning guests for what original showrunner Clyde Phillips insists is more than Dexter season 9. “One of the things that Michael insisted on, and he was completely right, was that this not be Dexter season 9," he said during Comic-Con@Home. "This is not the next moment after the lumberjack moment… We pick up with Dexter in another place, in another world, actually, as far away from Miami as possible.”
Phillips served as showrunner on the first four seasons of Dexter and is back for the revival which follows Dexter in a new chapter of his life. Batwoman and Flight Attendant director Marcos Seiga will direct the first six episodes of the ten-episode season.
Shooting for the upcoming season recently wrapped, with the series now in post-production. Executive producer and writer on New Blood, Scott Reynolds, announced the news via Instagram: "Last night we wrapped production on @sho_dexter — Words can’t describe how honored I am to get to write for this guy," the accompanying photo shows Reynolds next to Hall. "He’s amazing and I can’t wait for you all to see what we’ve done."
Read on for our rundown on everything we know about Dexter: New Blood so far. Spoilers for Dexter seasons 1-8 follow – so beware!
Dexter New Blood release date
Dexter: New Blood release date: November 7, 2021
Dexter: New Blood release date is Sunday, November 7, 2021 on Showtime at 9pm EST/PST. In the UK, you'll be able to watch it on Sky and Now.
The original idea for the revival emerged in June 2019. Dexter: New Blood started filming in February 2021 with western Massachusetts standing in for Dexter's new locale of upstate New York. Shooting wrapped at the end of July 2021.
Dexter: New Blood cast
Dexter: New Blood cast: who will return and who's new?
Fans will be pleased to hear Michael C. Hall returns as Dexter. His reprisal was announced in October 2020, when the series was ordered at Showtime.
Dexter wouldn't be Dexter without a new romance to complicate things for him. His new love interest is Angela, played by Julia Jones, a police chief who sounds like she's got a fair amount in common with the titular character. “She’s challenging," Jones explained at Comic-Con. "She’s got a lot going on. She’s in a wonderful arc, and she’s dynamic and she has a lot to overcome.“
Joining as the revival's main villain is Clancy Brown. The Billions star will play Kurt Caldwell, the owner of a local truck stop who owns several big rigs. The unofficial town mayor, Caldwell is loved by everyone, a real man of the people who will do you right… but apparently has a temper, and won't think twice about seeking vengeance. Cripes.
The rest of the main supporting cast includes Johnny Sequoyah as Angela's teenage daughter Audrey, who's described as "brash and opinionated", Alano Miller as Logan, an Iron Lake Police Department sergeant, and Jack Alcott as Randall, someone with whom Dexter has a "meaningful encounter."
For small recurring roles, Jamie Chung boarded the cast as an LA-based true crime podcaster Molly. Since Dexter's original run ended, true crime podcasts have skyrocketed in popularity, so her involvement adds a relevant twist that'll no doubt throw a spanner in the works for Dexter. Elsewhere, Oscar Wahlberg (yes, Mark's his uncle) joins as Zach, the captain of the Iron Lake High School wrestling team, who's described as a "bit of a bully, but generally the go-to-guy to have a good time."
Nice to see you, old friend. #DexterReturns https://t.co/d2299SDFFHJuly 17, 2021
Plenty of secret cameos await fans, to. Philips teased: “There will be some returning cast members from the original series that will make some people’s brains explode.”
One such cast member is Jennifer Carpenter, who played Dex's detective sister Deb during the show's original run. Despite her death in the season 8 finale, the actor will appear in some capacity. It could be she's taking over the part of Dexter's dad (played by James Remar in the original run) who appeared to Dexter as his "conscience" or she'll appear in a series of flashbacks.
Arguably the most complex part of Dexter's tale was witnessing him confronted by other serial killers, namely, John Lithgow's Trinity killer. Lithgow is confirmed to return, his commitment to the show only extended to one day of shooting, though. Like Deb, specifics about his appearance remain under wraps. It's likely he will appear in a one-off cameo flashback or as a hallucination.
Dexter: New Blood story
What do we know about the Dexter: New Blood story?
Dexter: New Blood picks up ten years after the events of the Dexter season 8 finale for what Showtime's creative head Ted Levine calls a "creative take that was truly worthy of the brilliant, original series."
This "creative take" finds Dexter now living in the fictional town of Iron Lake, New York, where he works as a shopkeeper under the assumed name of Jim Lindsay. A string of incidents in the small town are a cause for concern for Dexter, who believes he's quashed his desires, but fears his "dark passenger" is about to awaken.
Hall confirms that Dexter "hasn't been killing" since we last saw him, restraining himself from urges. "If he’s going around killing people, he’s going to struggle to have a life… though he does maintain a fantasy that he’s able to do both.”
How might Dexter get back into his old habits? He befriends the chief of police, Angela. She's the town's first female chief, the first person of color police chief, and according to Phillips, tension exists between Angela and the citizens of Iron Lake. On a purely speculative note – and based on his behavior in the previous seasons – it's likely Dexter will manipulate that dynamic to suit his own purposes.
There's something about a small town. #Dexter pic.twitter.com/27m4m364veMay 27, 2021
Considering he's in retail now, and not a blood spatter analyst with convenient police access, this relationship gives Dexter a direct connection to information about the town most ordinary people aren't privy to. It sounds as if it won't be long before he's up to his usual tricks.
Reynolds promises the show won't ignore the events of the earlier seasons, or the off-screen events which took place over the previous ten years. Having Dexter as a west coast lumberjack – an area the FBI estimates there are 15 active serial killers today – was a deliberate choice which the reboot's story will include. "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? And those are the things that we answer in this new season.”
Dexter: New Blood trailer
Is there a Dexter: New Blood trailer?
Yep, Showtime dropped the first teaser in April 2021, a 30-second first look at the revival. An outdoor wood fire crackles amid a snow-covered forest, the camera pulls back, into a cabin where we see Dexter. Behind him, reflected in the window… well, watch for yourself:
The Dexter New Blood trailer debuted at Comic-Con@Home 2021. This one packs in more than a fleeting tease; it showcases Dexter's new life, the white snow blanketing the town a reflection of this fresh slate he's made a home.
"It's all about blending in," his voice intones, as we see him sharpening a meat cleaver behind the counter at Fred's Fish and Game. Can anyone say "tempting fate"?
Dexter season 8 ending explained
Dexter season 8 ending explained, how will this work into the upcoming season?
The Dexter series finale was polarizing to say the least.
“I think the ending was ‘mystifying’ at best to people," Hall explained during Comic-Con@Home 2021. "‘Confounding,’ ‘exasperating,’ ‘frustrating’... 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.”
The end of Dexter season 8 finds Dexter making choices. His sister Deb takes a bullet during the final showdown with serial killer Saxon. Rushed to hospital and into surgery, she suffers a blood clot during the procedure, and has a stroke. Dexter arrives too late. In what he believes is an act of mercy, takes his sister from life support, loads her onto his boat, the Slice of Life, and drops her body into the water before peeling away.
We see his girlfriend (also a serial killer) Hannah McKay reading a newspaper in Argentina, the article revealing Dexter's supposed death during Hurricane Laura. All that's left of his boat are remains. She smiles and takes Dexter's son Harrison for ice cream.
The final shot of the series shows Dexter didn't die in a storm – he's alive and well and working in Astoria, Oregon as a lumberjack. Fade to black.
Many fans were displeased with the ending, the biggest head scratcher being: why did Dexter take Deb off life support? Most people believe Dexter made the choice, because the stroke placed Deb in a vegetative state, and she truly had no chance of a normal life. Was this supposed to be Dexter showcasing the compassion he had so desperately craved throughout the series? Some glimmer of kindness to hint at his true humanity? Who can say?
On The Hollywood Reporter TV's Top 5 podcast, Philips chimes in on the controversial season 8 ending, and says the new season won't attempt to rewrite it in any way: "This is an opportunity to make that right, but that's not why we're doing it. We're doing this because there is such a hunger for Dexter out there. We're not undoing anything. We're not doing movie-magic. 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."
He later adds a cherry on top, promising fans an ending for the revival which will be "stunning, shocking, surprising, unexpected. And without jinxing anything, I will say that the ending of this new season that we’re doing will blow up the internet."
Another Dexter ending to blow up the Internet? Don't mind if we do. Dexter: New Blood, we cannot wait to binge you.
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Gem Seddon is a Seattle-based freelance entertainment writer with bylines at Vulture, Digital Spy, TechRadar, GamesRadar+, Total Film, What to Watch, and Certified Forgotten. Librarian by day, scribbler by night, Gem loves 90-minute movies, time travel romance, single-camera comedy shows, all things queer, all things horror, and queer horror. Alien and Scream are tied as her all-time favourite movie. She won't stop raving about Better Things.