The feature film follow-up to David Milch’s Deadwood has certainly been a long time coming; here’s an article from thirteen years ago if you want to laugh and try to remember where you were. (I was probably in school. Or eating candy. Or whatever kids did in 2006.) The series had been cancelled by HBO after three seasons, and fans were left hoping for some more swearing-Swearengen to soothe their souls.
The show’s sets were dismantled, and many of the actors believed the series to be dead… like wood. Rumors of a revival resurfaced in 2015, with Milch working on a long-gestating script and negotiations starting with HBO. It wasn’t until 2017 that the script was submitted, and production started a year later.
Here we are in 2019 and Deadwood: The Movie is a real thing. Airing May 31st on HBO, the film is picking up ten years after season three to reunite cutthroat innkeeper Al Swearengen (Ian McShane) and Sheriff Seth Bullock (Timothy Olyphant) in their love-ya-par’dner/hate-ya-par’dner relationship. The main cast returns with Molly Parker, Brad Dourif, Jim Beaver, Anna Gunn, and more set to dust off their boots ‘n saddles. The band’s back together in 1889 for South Dakota’s induction into the Union, with old tensions no doubt resurfacing. At least one person will maybe-probably get shot.
For me, Deadwood remains my favorite TV series despite its abrupt ending, every character excellent and the production feeling dirty and authentic. The movie has been a pipe dream for years, though I was never left unsatisfied by the cancellation. Hoping that this upholds the legacy, we’ll see when Deadwood returns in just a few months.