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The Untold Truth Of Justified

Elmore Leonard’s novella “Fire In The Hole” is the inspiration for “Justified.” However, the popular TV series isn’t the first time Leonard’s work has been adapted for the screen. Leonard’s career spanned an incredible six decades and produced a wealth of novels and short stories. According to The Atlantic, the author’s work has been spun into dozens of big and small screen productions. He even penned several screenplays of his own, some of which were based off his own ink-and-paper stories. Leonard succeeded as a Western writer: Early work like “3:10 To Yuma” and “The Tall T,” which spawned successful 1950s film adaptations, put his name on the map. Moreover, much of what he created during this era has endured. “3:10 To Yuma,” for example, was adapted once again in 2007.  

But after a while spent among the cowboys and tumbleweeds, Leonard made his way into crime and suspense writing. Among the brightest examples of Leonard’s crime novels are “Get Shorty” and “Rum Punch,” which many people recognize from their successful movie adaptations (the latter being Quentin Tarantino’s “Jackie Brown”). Though these productions are impressive, “Justified” still manages to stand out as one of the most faithful renditions of an Elmore Leonard story, and one of the absolute best. The Atlantic ascribes this success to, among other elements, the positive collaboration between Leonard and the show’s creator, Graham Yost. One thing is certain: “Justified” captures Leonard’s vision and flair with rare skill.



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