FX’s pilot Outlaw Country is undergoing a retooling. The original script, written by Josh Goldin and Rachel Abramowitz, has been given a rewrite by Goldin, Abramowitz and Outlaw Country‘s executive producer/co-showrunner David Manson. There will be substantial reshoots, which will be directed by actor-helmer Adam Arkin. Arkin is stepping in for the original pilot’s director Michael Dinner, who would’ve done the reshoots had he not been busy with another FX pilot he is directing, Powers. There won’t be major recastings on the project, a crime thriller/family drama set against the backdrop of Southern organized crime and Nashville royalty that stars Luke Grimes, Haley Bennett, Mary Steenburgen and John Hawkes. I hear a couple of small new roles have been added and another small part, played in the original pilot by Lisa Blount, will be recast following the actress’ death.
Getting Outlaw Country off the ground has been a long and arduous process. FX greenlighted the project to pilot last April and filmed the pilot last fall. The network has showed faith in the drama — FX president John Landgraf recently listed Outlaw Country, along with Powers, as candidates for a series launch in the winter. Also proving FX’s commitment to the Nashville-set Outlaw Country is its major additional investment in the project in the form of a rewrite and extensive reshoots. In addition to getting paid for the new pilot, the cast also have had their options extended through December. FX has a history of tweaking its pilots, including reshooting substential parts of them, before ordering them to series. It happened with Sons of Anarchy, whose reshoots were done by Dinner, and, most recently, with Lights Out. Arkin, who has a role on hit Sons of Anarchy, has directed episodes of several FX series, including SOA, Justified and Terriers. Art Linson and John Linson executive produce Outlaw Country, which is produced by Fox TV Studios and FX Prods.