It’s the summer of Timothy Olyphant! Justified: City Primeval is not the only television series he has airing this summer, as Full Circle is coming to Max—this is the stupidest name for a streaming platform yet, really—on July 13 (just five days before City Primeval premieres). A trailer dropped yesterday, showing off Steven Soderbergh’s new twisty-turny drama about a kidnapping gone wrong.
Full Circle seems like the kind of thing that would be based on a novel, but it’s an original concept from writer Ed Solomon (he previously worked with Soderbergh on No Sudden Move and the choose-your-own-adventure thriller, Mosaic). But it’s classic Soderbergh in the Traffic vein—a big ensemble cast with a globe-spanning story examining the intersections of race, class, and crime.
Claire Danes and Timothy Olyphant star as a wealthy couple whose son is the target of a kidnapping attempt. Zazie Beetz is the agent investigating the kidnapping, and the scope of the story includes Dennis Quaid as a celebrity chef, as well as CCH Pounder, Jharrel Jerome, Jim Gaffigan, and William Sadler. That’s a terrific cast, and Full Circle looks all kinds of tense and dramatic.
It's sort of annoying that both Olyphant shows will be airing at the same time—we could have a year of Timothy Olyphant, not just a summer!—but it’s not like Full Circle is “his” show the way Justified is. He’s the star of Justified, but he’s just one piece of the puzzle in Full Circle. Honestly, he doesn’t really pop in the trailer, it’s mostly Claire Danes, Zazie Beetz, and CCH Pounder who stand out.
It sort of looks like the men in their lives have made various messes, and these women have to clean it all up. I’m interested to see what the connection is between the wealthy white people and Guyana—it’s not going to be anything good, that’s for sure, but the Traffic template dictates it should be a thriller-ish but sharp examination of the intersection of race, class, and privilege. Traffic remains one of the smarter movies made about the American drug trade, at least within mainstream Hollywood (Stephen Gaghan won an Oscar for the screenplay). People, including Soderbergh himself, have been chasing Traffic’s high bar for two decades now. Will Full Circle finally match it?
Here is Claire Danes out in New York City yesterday.