After years and years of waiting, HBO’s Deadwood movie has finally started filming, with most of the show’s cast returning for one last adventure.
Written by the Deadwood creator David Milch, the film will pick up ten years after the events of the show’s third season, with the town’s residents reuniting to celebrate South Dakota’s statehood.
According to HBO’s vague synopsis, the film will reunite old rivalries, test alliances, and open old wounds, as everyone tries to navigate ‘the inevitable changes time and modernity have wrought’.
Despite the show being off air for twelve years, HBO has managed to recruit a sizeable portion of the old cast including; Ian McShane, Timothy Olyphant, Molly Parker, Paula Malcomson and Gerald McRaney, among many others.
Jade Pettyjohn, from Nickelodeon’s School of Rock (yes they remade it, and yes we know that’s criminal) is set to join the cast as a new character, named Caroline.
Daniel Minahan, who directed four episodes of Deadwood and has gone on to work on such shows as Game of Thrones, True Blood and American Crime Story, is set to direct.
A Deadwood movie’s been on the cards since 2006, when HBO opted not to renew the show for a fourth season. At the time, HBO was keen to point out they hadn’t cancelled the show and they were in talks regarding the show’s future.
It was initially proposed, and agreed, the show would wrap up with two, two-hour television films in place of a fourth season, but development unfortunately stalled.
For the longest time, it seemed Deadwood was dead, with actor Ian McShane telling Jon Stewart those exact words when he appeared on his TV show back in 2009.
Fans’ hopes were renewed however when, in 2016, HBO gave Milch the green light to finally write a script for the film, and the network’s programming president, Michael Lombardo, confirmed they were ‘committed’ to returning to Deadwood.
Lombardo told TVLine:
David has our commitment that we are going to do it. He pitched what he thought generally the storyline would be — and knowing David, that could change. But it’s going to happen.
Finally, in July of this year, it was finally announced HBO had at long last greenlit the project, to the delight of Deadwoodites all over the land.
And, according to W. Earl Brown – who plays Dan Dority, the saloon worker – fans have a lot to be excited about.
Brown wrote on Twitter:
I just read the final draft. Holy. Sh*t. In the course of those two hours, my emotions ricocheted in every f*cking direction: exhilaration to melancholy; hoots of joy to screams of despair.
The Maestro has topped himself. The structure is essentially the same as the first version I read a year and a half ago, but the complexities of the relationships, the emotional peaks and depths, are all sharpened to a razor fine edge. It’s gut wrenching.
Deadwood doesn’t have an exact release date but HBO chief Casey Bloys says he’s hoping for a spring 2019 premiere date.