Executive Producer Manny Coto: "We're Not Really Looking at an End Game Right Now"

Via TVGuide.com: Now that Dexter Morgan's serial-killer secret has finally been discovered by the person closest to him — his sister — Dexter's producers promise to slice right into the juicy setup over the next two seasons...and maybe even a feature film after the show ends its run on Showtime.

While the writing team has yet to formally convene to plot out the consequences of Deb's discovery that her adoptive brother is meting out his deadly Code against Miami's murderers, executive producer Manny Coto tells TV Guide Magazine that the show won't shy away from a radical new reality — including the fact that Deb (Jennifer Carpenter) has developed some complicated romantic feelings for Dexter (Michael C. Hall).

"Debra has discovered, at the very least, that her brother is a cold-blooded killer," says Coto. "That is going to inform the next two seasons, or however many more seasons there are. It's going to be a different dynamic, which is part of the fun. What we've done is upended the show, and it's now no longer about a guy who's trying to keep his secret from his sister and everyone else around him. For all intents and purposes someone knows who he is and Debra has a big decision to make: 'Do I turn him in? What do I do about this? I've just seen him kill somebody.' That's the first thing we're going to be dealing with." Read more after the jump...

It's a setup that left some viewers more squeamish than all of the series' blood-letting. Coto says that some fans' ew!-laden reactions to Debra's unexpected attraction to the man who was raised as her brother has not scared the writing staff away from further exploring the plotline. "People are going a little crazy about it, but I think part of what attracted us to that is that it's something you didn't see coming," says Coto. "It occurred to us that Debra — with her failed relationships one after another and the fact that her first big relationship that we saw was with a serial killer, and then maybe there was some underlying psychic connection to Dexter — that was leading her towards these people who were unavailable or downright evil. So that's where that evolved from: that maybe there was a reason for all this, which is that maybe she's slowly falling for her brother."

But having watched Dexter do away with killer Travis (Colin Hanks) may force Deb to realize that he's anything but Mr. Right. "Obviously, even if you're in love with someone, if you've just seen that person kill someone in cold blood your feelings are going to change," says Coto. "So her feelings will have to evolve given that revelation, but they will be taken into account. They will come forward throughout the season to inform how she's going to respond to this."

With each new season, the series has traditionally brought in a formidable guest actor designed to go toe-to-toe on camera with Hall, and while Coto's not naming names just yet, he noted that the next big name to join the cast could be around for a more extended stay. "We kind of know what we're going to do next season, but we don't know what kind of position there will be for a Big Bad, so to speak, or not," he reveals. "We may do someone that goes over two seasons. The options are open for us."

Finally, while the series has been guaranteed two more seasons, Coto says that doesn't mean the creators are plotting Dexter's exit strategy. In fact, everyone's favorite serial killer may eventually migrate to the big screen. "We're not really looking at an end game right now," says Coto. "In a way, it's almost like every season is a form of an end game. This season could've been an end to Dexter, setting it up for the movies, for example. So every season kind of comes to it's own conclusion and can be a sort of end game."

Coto is quick to add that he's "just speculating" when it comes to movie plans. "I've heard nothing about it. I'm actually just projecting from my own experience on 24, where at the end we weren't going to kill Jack Bauer. We were going to leave him open because down the road there might be a movie. And sure enough, there's a movie coming."

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  1. Hmmmm

    A poster named the Zman predicted chance of a movie back on the Showtime Dexter forums around 6.10, it was somewhere in between his ideas on the end of season 6 (which turned out to be exactly right) and a thesis on the love story of Deb and Dex.

  2. Dexter does not need a movie.

  3. I don't think there's any need for a movie... all that I want is to have seasons 7 & 8 and then a proper ending. That's all Dexter needs. And no Dexter & Debra romance, please.

  4. Oh man, yes to the love story. The more frumpy uptight people who get online and complain about the love story being wrong, the more I want it. Especially that ultra-right wing conservative nutter the other day who laid out that this show was teaching us the way we 'ought to do things' and how the "incest" story will 'ruin the moral lesson' of Dexter, all I want to see next year is more Deb and Dex.

  5. I'd be happy with the show going on if, from now on, the show could start pushing the story forward toward real conclusions and letting each season be a progression in the story, like the first four seasons did so well. Each season brought us Dexter existing under new circumstances, dealing with new, major problems and new dynamics to unique relationships. Season 5 had little of this (sparing the whole Lumen thing, which was wrapped up poorly enough to cheapen what would have otherwise been a moving, progressive story for him,) and season 6 gave us nothing other than solidifying how much he loves his son and sister... which are nice things to highlight, but that's not all you can base his character development around. That's not a development. We already KNEW that.

    At this point, to thrive for more than two more seasons, the show needs to start shaking things up. Or, alternately, the show needs to focus on shorter storylines (maybe two main plots per season) which could afford them tighter, focused storytelling and less filler (it's sad... all of the random, irrelevant filler in Dexter used to be so well written and forgivable.)

  6. Derek

    Because the filler used to focus on Dexter's relationships - we need the human side to balance the monster, it gives us that counterpoint. The kid who plays Harrison is great, but you can only interact so much with a toddler! Without Rita, Astor, and Cody the show lost something. Some of the best episodes of the whole series focus on those relationships - those moments give us a real reason to "cheer for Dexter" I think going forward with his relationship with Deb is the only way to get that back and to bring back the danger of him "getting caught".

    Since Rita's death there has been no stress, the audience has let out a collective sigh of relief and said to itself: "Well, who really cares if he goes down now - he is nothing but a screw up and Harrison would be fine with Deb as mom."

    But now, if Debra gets in too deep, she will be in danger of jail too, or worse, and it brings some of that tension back.

  7. Personally, I do not see the need for their to be a Dexter movie. If the cast (particularly Michael C Hall since he plays Dexter), crew and writers feel as if after eight seasons Dexter's story is still unfinished and there is more that needs to be told, I would much rather them renew the show for an additional season. So many times shows are taken to the big screen and the film is never as good as the show was while on TV. In my humble opinion it is seemingly impossible to take a phenomenal show like Dexter and compress a storyline that is usually conveyed as about twelve hours of video footage into a two hour film. The integrity and quality of the characters and story would most definitely suffer.

  8. Wow, people are mired in fixated formula. It's easy to see the movie possibility after the series is resolved. It would be a wonderful tie in to bring Dexter back from an exile imposed at the end of the series.

    The Big Screen is so ripe for Dexter possibilities, I most often go back to the movie that started much of this. The great Michael Mann movie "Manhunter" to me, William Peterson's version of Graham reminds me so much of Dexter Morgan in a different way, that I have always seen a movie like that with Dexter in place of Will Graham. It would be awesome.

    I can just see Dexter living in seclusion with Deb and Harrison in Vietnam or Cambodia (no extradition for murder) and maybe the FBI reaching out to him to offer him immunity in exchange for him tracking an un-catchable serial killer. (Like Trinity) That would be awesome, the tension of Deb worrying that Dexter might go back down the rabbit hole, that Dexter might get double crossed...

    Of course the big baddie could be a bankable movie actor with the chops, someone who could really nail a psychopath that Dex could be hunting (someone you could never get for the TV series) like a Gary Oldman, or a Phillip Seymour Hoffman, or John freaking Malkovich!

    But what would really be cool is if Dexter is reunited with some of the members of Miami Metro - at the FBI's request to help solve the case. So whoever is alive still, Batista, Masuka, et. will know that Dexter is a serial killer and will have to work with him on the case. The interactions would be a dramatic and humorous goldmine.

    Why would anyone not want to see that on the big screen? Oh you know you would pay for your ticket! I'd by mine right now in advance. :)

  9. I'm happy with a movie if it means more Dexter. And, I'm interested to see how they deal with the Dex-Deb bromance. If Dex does hook up with her, breaking up could be difficult as she would turn him in. Let's remember, Deb is pretty screwed up in the romance dept: she dumped the only two guys (Anton and Quinn) who really cared for her, and she keeps choosing the wrong guy. Let's not get too uptight - it's just a show, and enjoy the ride.

  10. I definitely do NOT want to see a Deb/Dex romance. Folks are forgetting that she is biologically his half sister. Harry fathered Dex with his informant (Dex's Mother). Brian was also Deb's half brother. Movie - no! Most movies that are created from successful television series just suck. I am hoping for an additional season and I agree with the poster that said they just want good writing and a logical conclusion to this ride we have been on.

  11. It absolutely blows my freaking mind how so many people are all up in arms about the "incest" thing. Seriously people? We have watched Dexter take a cordless reciprocating saw to a mans throat. Dismember countless people. Forcefully stab people in the mid-section. Blood EVERYWHERE. We have also had a serial killer chopping up prostitutes and leaving their parts blood free and neatly wrapped for MDPD to find. We have seen several hefty bags of chopped up body parts being brought up from the water. We have seen a man getting naked with a women in a tub and slice her femoral artery, filling the tub with blood, as well as forcing a women off the edge of a building falling to her death, followed by smashing in a man's face and head with a framing hammer. Women being raped and killed and stuffed in to barrels. A man having his guts removed and replaced with snakes. A women being strung up like an Angel with blood everywhere. Blood, and body part fucking galore. And so many are grossing out and whining about Deb having intimate feelings for her "ADOPTED" "NON BLOOD RELATED" brother? What the fuck is wrong with these people?

  12. @Anonymous 6:31am

    Its been proven in season one by a blood test that Harry is not Dexter's biological father and that Dexter's real father is someone named Joe Driscoll which makes Deb and Dex not related by blood.

  13. I have no idea what is wrong Jessie James, other than to note that a few of the people posting who are hard core fans, have turned out to be something of an extreme right wing militia types who have very specific moral codes. They see Dexter through very vigilante glasses - there are here for the kills, seeing it as "justice" and have not paid much attention to the rest of the story at all.

    Take Anon at 6:31 - big enough of a fan to post on message boards. Still, after all this time, has not figure out that Dexter is adopted and not bio related to Deb even though the writers went out of their way to broadcast it.

    You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make them drink.

  14. Six seasons and a movie! Whoops, wrong show.
    Seriously, PLEASE don't make season 9, it will just drag on and on and you'll make me hate my favourite show. Seasons 5 & 6 were hard enough to watch.

  15. when will season 07 starts????

  16. All I want to see more Dex/Deb next season.

  17. Yea on Deb/Dex - best love story - ever!

  18. nooooooooooooooooo
    pls not dex and dep its yak,
    its nice when they are bro n sis

    1. Well, I'm fairly sure that Dex and Dep (whomever that is) won't be getting together.

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