The Unkillable Wynonna Earp Will Return for One Last Ride

February 08, 2024

By Maureen Ryan, Vanity Fair

No matter how many changes the TV industry goes through, it simply cannot keep down a certain whiskey-loving badass and her crew. Vanity Fair can exclusively reveal that Wynonna Earp, the beloved drama that ended its four-season Syfy run in 2021, will return later this year with a scripted special on Tubi, tentatively titled Wynonna Earp: Vengeance. The 90-minute special was written by the show’s creator and executive producer, Emily Andras.

Melanie Scrofano (Wynonna herself), Tim Rozon (Doc Holliday), Dom Provost-Chalkley (Waverly Earp), and Katherine Barrell (Nicole Haught) will all be back, and other familiar faces are likely to return as well. Paolo Barzman, who directed many episodes of the drama, will helm the special, which starts shooting in and around Wynonna Earp’s former Calgary stomping grounds soon and will come out in late 2024.

In a video reunion this week, the cast and Andras shared their excitement about the return, and all expressed a strong desire to make the special a memorable gift to the show’s loyal fans. “Earpers” have rallied to raise awareness of Wynonna Earp and even help save the cult show—efforts that contributed to the series racking up 49 episodes on Syfy. They’ve inspired countless social media explosions, a profusion of fan art, and even Earp-focused conventions.

“There are definitely some nerves, but it’s kind of muddled with this ecstasy and excitement of actually putting on Waverly’s shoes again,” said Provost-Chalkley. “I haven’t been on set since we left, so that’s gonna be a whole thing, just to reconnect with that world. But I keep telling myself that if there’s any group that I want to do that with, it’s this family.”

“It was kind of amazing how quickly the feeling came back. It was such a familiar, nostalgic feeling of holding [the script] and seeing the name across the title page,” said Barrell. “I was so tempted, when I got it, to start skimming it. And I was like, No, no, no, no—you have to be alone, and it has to be quiet. It was ritualistic for me.” It’s an emotion she remembers well: “For me, it wasn’t the experience of reading any other script. It’s a very specific Wynonna Earp feeling.”

Rozon had a reputation on set for always reading new scripts first, and his castmates said that was the case here as well. So what did he think of Vengeance?

“I’m all in,” he said. (And evidence of that is in the luxurious Doc Holliday facial hair he’s growing.) “The Earpers understand exactly how I felt, because they’re probably feeling it right now while they’re watching this,” Rozon added. “I’m excited for what they’re getting back, is all I’m going to say.”

For a few minor hints about Vengeance, I queried Andras, who said that the special will catch up with the Wynonna Earp characters some time after the end of season four. “Doc and Wynonna have been on an adventure, and Waverly and Nicole have been at home in [the Earp hometown of] Purgatory, doing their thing. I think it’s going to be really interesting to see, hopefully, what gets everybody home—maybe facing a challenge they’ve never faced before, something pretty intense. It’s all your favorite—hopefully—character moments, but also a little bit about growing up and sort of, like, being who you are now and earning all your choices.”

Andras hastened to add that while she wants to give Earpers a great ride with Vengeance, which will feature a revenge-driven female villain, the special is also designed to be newbie-friendly: “I hope it’s a gateway drug,” she said, to the full series, which is available in the US on Netflix.

The character Wynonna Earp originated in a comic book created by Beau Smith; she is a descendant of the legendary Wyatt Earp, and as Andras put it, “Being the descendant of a hero is a curse, both metaphorically and literally.” Early on in the show, a reluctant Wynonna is tasked with protecting the small town of Purgatory from undead varmints known as revenants.

Following the drama’s debut in 2016, its storytelling, themes, and onscreen family expanded deliciously. If you like comedically inflected action, whiskey, donuts, hot romances, and storylines about angels, this is the show for you. At one point there’s a subplot about killer trees, because of course there is.

There are some constants amid the Purgatory chaos. (As Andras told the cast during the reunion: “Don’t be nervous, because the mess is our brand.”) Among them are Wynonna’s unbreakable familial bond with Waverly; Doc and Wynonna’s undeniable connection; and Waverly’s romantic relationship with local cop Nicole Haught, which has, over the years, launched many, many LGBTQ-friendly memes, sites, and testimonials. (Did I wear only a “Purgatory Pride” T-shirt for most of the pandemic? None of your business!)

Quip-slinging, acerbic, deeply loyal Wynonna “inherits this magic gun that can kill demons from her great-great-great-grandfather Earp. And then it’s about her kind of being with this other posse of dipshits—the kind of people who are usually kind of on the margins of Westerns,” Andras explained. “An immortal Doc Holliday, her little baby sister, this kick-ass sheriff of the town, [all] forming this family to fight evil in a very dysfunctional, fun, real way. We have lots of feels, lots of dirty jokes, and lots of tears, and maybe a little bit of disgusting Tarantino gore, if you’re lucky.”

It makes for a rollicking, addictive, emotionally engaging mixture, which is part of the reason the cast and creative team have been hot tickets on the convention circuit for some time. Andras has also stayed in touch with former Syfy executive Josh Van Houdt, who is now Tubi’s vice president of scripted original content. In recent months, he and Andras discussed the possibility of a new Wynonna special, and when Van Houdt brought it to Adam Lewinson, Tubi’s chief content officer, he was immediately on board.

So were many members of the show’s crew. Some couldn’t make it due to scheduling conflicts, but Scrofano is already planning a party for them. That homecoming with the behind-the-scenes family “will feel really good,” she said. As for the onscreen shenanigans, she also confessed to being nervous about “refilling those boots,” but “with Emily and Paolo at the helm, we’re good.”

Nearly three years after the show ended on another TV homestead—in what already feels like a bygone era—the show’s fans will “be rewarded for holding out hope,” Scrofano added. “Sometimes in life, you hold out hope for things and your hopes get dashed. And this is just reaffirming that sometimes you just have to keep the hope alive.”