Julia Stiles Joining ‘Dexter’ [Updated]

Published 4 years ago by , Updated February 15th, 2014 at 4:29 pm,

[WARNING: This article contains major SPOILERS from seasons 1-4 of Dexter. If you're not caught up till the end of season 4 then stop reading now. You have been warned!]

Nearly six months after the shocking Dexter season four finale, we’re beginning to hear murmurs indicating that season five pre-production is in full swing.

The most interesting, and certainly a source for speculation, comes in early reports that Bourne actress Julia Stiles may appear as a Dexter season five regular.

EW suggest that Stiles is in late-stage talks to come aboard the critically acclaimed show in a major role – though no specifics are known about the character she’d play.

[Update: Julia Stiles is confirmed to have signed on for Dexter Season 5]

You might be thinking that Stiles will take-up the killer girl shoes of season 2′s Lila or become the next “Big Bad” (of the Ice Truck Killer or Trinity Killer variety) but the producers appear to have something else in store.

Showrunner Chip Johannessen was very direct about this particular point:

“We’re not going to have a single Big Bad this season. We don’t want to try and top John Lithgow, so we’re going to change up the forces that Dexter’s going to be dealing with.”

According to previous details given by executive producer Sara Colleton, it doesn’t sound as though Stiles will be a direct love-interst either - at least not yet:

“Anything is possible, but I don’t think Dexter will be in the mood for dating or love anytime soon. That’s not even on our radar right now. He very much loved Rita and they were in a good place right before she was killed so that wound will take quite some time to heal.”

Personally, I’m guessing that, given his full-time job and part-time serial killer hobby, Dexter is going to need some help with those three kids he’s got at home. Maybe Stiles will be a nanny? Specifically, a live-in nanny that creates new hurdles for the late-night vigilante to avoid?

dexter season 4 header Julia Stiles Joining Dexter [Updated]

The Julia Stiles casting news comes on the heels of an earlier report by EW that mentioned a previously deceased cast-member would return for the season five premier.

Julie Benz, who played Dexter’s wife (until she became the final victim of Lithgow’s Trinity Killer), will return in the first episode of the upcoming season to “help Dexter deal with his newfound feelings of loss and grief — emotions he has never really felt before,” according to a rep at Showtime.

Given the season’s focus on Dexter’s grief, it’s increasingly obvious that, if you were hoping Rita somehow survived Trinity’s attack – you’re out of luck.

Similarly, if you thought it’d be fun to see her in Harry-like phantom form, Colleton and the other producers apparently don’t agree with you:

“We reserve those for Harry. If you have too many things like that it becomes gimmicky.”

So how will Rita return?

Julie Benz Julia Stiles Joining Dexter [Updated]

Personally, I’m guessing her presence isn’t going to be particularly surprising – I mean, it wouldn’t be the first time that the Dexter show-runners utilized a flashback or dream sequences. Bringing Rita back is just as much about giving Dexter closure as it is about giving the audience closure.

Regardless of how you might have felt about Rita, she was a major character, and a significant part of Dexter’s life – a character we never got to say goodbye to. However she might appear in the season premier – you can bet it’ll be designed to give Rita and the audience an opportunity to say goodbye.

What do you think about the casting of Julia Stiles? What role do you think she’ll play? How do you think Rita might return?

Dexter is scheduled to return on September 26, 2010.

Source: EW

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  1. Just recently watched all seasons 1-4 and needless to say i was majorly shocked to see how season 4 ended. I was hoping for a “phantom” form of Rita for Season 5, but regardless, as long as she at least temporarily comes back for some closure I will be happy. As for Stiles, I could see her being the nanny as Dex will be up a creek without some good help there!

  2. Thanks so much for the Dexter info! Dexter is by far my favorite show. I even changed my user name so I could employ a Dexter reference haha.
    I think the nanny idea is a very good guess. It would be logical that Dexter would need lots of help taking care of the kids now that Rita is gone. I’m glad Stiles won’t be a love interest as that would be unfair to Rita. I’m so sad she’s gone. I loved her. Most of the cliffhangers that forced me to watch the next episode right away were when Dexter had problems with Rita.

  3. I bet Julia Stiles is going to be Rita’s little sister, coming to the rescue. You heard it hear first!

  4. what do you mean by that?

  5. I don’t know if Dexter is going to have as much trouble with the kids as everyone might think. Those grandparents showing up at the end of season 4 were pretty convenient and would be a way for dex to get down to just one kid. Oh and it might be a long shot but what about Julia Stiles for an illegitimate child of Harry’s? Yeah maybe not, but it might be interesting.

  6. I would like to see Dexter keep the kids. I wouldn’t mind Stiles as a nanny, I guess, but I think they can do better with her character. I say she comes in as a detective and has her eye on Dexter for Rita’s murder. It’s not like he has an alibi because he can’t tell them he was working or out killing Trinity. I can’t wait to see Season 5, especially after how bad Season 4′s ending traumatized me…I loved Rita’s character so much. I was mortified by the ending.

    • you saideverything i was thinking! i was hoping it would bea dream sequence (her murder) but, guess not. its bullsh*t frankly. definitly agree that stiles will be a cop or someting and that they may suspect dexter. how elsedence, and his alter ego as kyle butler and knowoig trinity’s family? plus when did he even have time to kill her? howd he find her? i thought dexter put her in a cab himself…on another note i thought the relationship between laguerta and batiste was kind of forced and contrived and came mosty out of nowhere…

  7. A better ending to last season would have been this: After killing Lithgow, Dexter takes a quick jaunt home to pack up his stuff and go meet Rita, and on the answering machine some sort of message from Rita implying that he pick up her son on the way. From this we find that Lithgow’s character had buried the boy in his ritualistic pattern before Dex had killed him. With Lithgow now dead, he was the only one who knew where the boy is buried, leaving Dex now responsible for the impending death of his stepson.

    Killing of Rita tells me they were desperate for a shocker and dont have enough creative juices to keep this series afloat much longer. I mean, when you kill of a main character, it screams desperation imo.

    • But when Trinity killed or buried a boy, they had to be at the age of 12.. His stepson was maybe 8 or 9 years old from the looks of it.

      I could be wrong..

      • And sometimes people just need to move on. Season 4, in my opinion, was much better than season 3 with concerns to everything, especially because Miguel Prado was gone. (I hated that guy). Whatever happened at the end of Season 4 would have been shocking. Hell, Trinity could have left Dexter a greeting card and I would have been stunned. Perhaps not to the same extent, but still.

        As far as killing off cody, that would take away an interesting opportunity. In the books, Dexter begins to see the same sociopathic tendencies in Cody that he possesses. Season 5 could develop that story arch, with Dexter training cody according to the Code of Harry.

        I realize that it would make more sense with Harrison in the continuity of the series, but it could be explained by his father’s death in prison, as well as his mother’s murder, and being raised by dexter himself. I’d watch that season.

  8. @Matt, John Lithgow killed boys at the age of 10, and he did have unfinished business with “Scott” the 10 year old. He also never finished that and they never showed him kill another 10 year old, as he was searching for Dexter’s real impersonation.

  9. The books follow a much different story arc, with both Astor and Cody damaged by their father and both of them carrying a dark passenger. Without some sort of major trauma, the kids in the series have been presented as too well adjusted to go there. Frankly, I love both the books and the series but other than superficialities, never the twain have met.

  10. Stiles has suprised me. I’ve always thought her attractive but rather ‘wooden’ in her performances. No doubts that she’s intelligent and hard working. She’s doing a great job portraying a vengeful rape victim and even a love interest for Dexter if it plays out slowly and she’s carried into the next season. Darkly Dreaming Dexter + Lumen. It’s a great choice for character name.
    Lumen
    1 physics (symbol lm) in the SI system: a unit of luminous flux, defined as the amount of light emitted by a point source of intensity one candela within a solid angle of one steradian.
    2 biol in living organisms: the space enclosed by the walls of a vessel or tubular organ, eg within a blood vessel or intestine.
    ETYMOLOGY: 19c: Latin, meaning ‘light’.