The long-awaited “Ray Donovan” movie has received an approximate air date.
During a session at Showtime’s virtual Television Critics Association press tour presentation, the network’s president of entertainment, Gary Levine, confirmed the feature-length film will debut this winter.
That airdate would place the movie about two years after news of the show’s abrupt cancellation, which shook fans and even surprised the cast.
“It’s a very difficult decision sometimes,” Levine told reporters of the show’s cancellation.
“In the best of cases you can plan for it, and it can be a nice gentle landing; ‘Homeland’ had a beautiful finale in that regard as did ‘Shameless’, and sometimes it can’t be planned and circumstances just make the decision a little more abrupt, and sadly that was the case with ‘Ray’. I don’t think it was ending it after seven seasons— although some people would like it to go on forever — I think it was the abruptness of the cancellation.”
Subsequent news that the series would conclude with a stand-alone movie, he explained, came in direct response to the show’s loyal viewers.
“We did hear from fans, and we are nothing if not responsive to our audience,” said Levine. “I think this ‘Ray Donovan’ two-hour movie will go a long way to making that landing more graceful.”
Back in February, Showtime announced plans to conclude the “Ray Donovan” saga in a movie, confirming star Liev Schreiber and some members of the cast will return for the film, including Jon Voight as Ray’s ne’er-do-well dad Mickey and Kerris Dorsey as Ray’s daughter Bridget.
Schreiber will co-write the script with showrunner David Hollander, who will also direct the film.
“The new film picks up where season 7 left off, with Mickey in the wind and Ray determined to find and stop him before he can cause any more carnage,” notes the synopsis for the film. “It will also weave together the present-day fallout from the Donovan/Sullivan feud with Ray and Mickey’s origin story from 30 years ago.”
“When ‘Ray Donovan’ went off our air after seven great seasons, we heard from so many of its loyal fans that they were not ready to say goodbye to Ray and the wonderfully dysfunctional Donovan clan,” said Showtime’s president of entertainment, Gary Levine. “And so, for them, we are delighted that Liev and David are creating a thrilling new chapter of this iconic series.”
Production is tentatively scheduled to begin later this year in New York City.