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The revival will be 10 episodes. Showrunner Clyde Phillips—who ran the first four seasons of the original series—wrote the script for the first and the last episode. Production is slated to begin in early 2021 and the show will hopefully air later that same year.
Phillips told THR that "We want this not to be Dexter season nine."
"We basically do get to start from scratch," he said. "I mean, 10 years have passed—however many years have passed—by the time this will air, and the show will reflect that time passage in so far as the ending of the show. This will have no resemblance to how the original finale was and it's a great opportunity to write a second finale for a show."
Phillips acknowledged many people involved with the show—including Michael C. Hall—knew that lumberjack ending was not a fan fave.
"Michael certainly was aware that the ending wasn't well received and I believe that he was not completely satisfied with it and this is an opportunity to make that right," Philips said. "But that's not why we're doing it. We're doing this because there's such a hunger for Dexter out there."
The revival will not erase Dexter's turn as a lumberjack.
"We're 10 years later," Phillips said. "We're not undoing anything. We're not doing movie magic, we're not going to betray the audience to say 'That was all a dream,' or whatever it is. I mean, what happened in the first eight years happened in the first eight years. This is now however many years later. So we're not undoing anything."
Dexter's adoptive sister Deb (Jennifer Carpenter) will still be dead, but Dexter's a show known for its ghosts.
"There is some flexibility for movie magic, and that's all I can say about it," Phillips said, refusing to answer the question directly.
When the original finale aired, Phillips was interviewed by E! News' Kristin Dos Santos and revealed what his pitch for the series finale would have been. It involved Dexter being executed for his crimes while all of his victims (even the indirect ones) could be seen watching from the gallery. Understandably, Phillips couldn't say whether this ending would see the light of day in the revival.
"Everybody knows that quote," he said. "And then if I say none of it is in play, then they know something else is going to happen if they say all of it in play. Then, then they know that that's something's going to happen so I can't answer that. I can't talk about the finale of the show."
Dexter was sort of iconically set in Miami the first time around, and in the finale the character had relocated to Oregon. Philips couldn't say where exactly the new season will be set, but he could tease that "it won't be Miami."
Phillips couldn't say for sure if Dexter's former job of blood splatter analyst for the Miami Police Department would come back into play, but he could say this: "We discuss it and we we do mess with it, we do change it up. I can't tell you in which ways."
The show will "look and feel different yet familiar," whatever that means.