Slimmest of Possibilities; Rumors Swirl Around Deadwood Movie

From 2004-2006 HBO ran one of the best shows in the premium network’s history. That show was Deadwood, and it told a story of early South Dakota, and how a mining camp became a city. The story was told with a Shakespearean poetry to the dialogue, spoken by colorful characters and boasting a cast of extremely talented actors.  But the story wasn’t cheap to tell, costing HBO about $5 million an episode to produce, and failed to get the kind of ratings that they saw with The Sopranos, so despite an excellently crafted and incredibly intense end to season three, the show was canceled.

In the years following its end, rumors emerged; first that HBO had offered an abbreviated six-episode fourth season, but that show creator David Milch didn’t feel that would work.

“I did not want to accept a short order. We couldn’t have done the work the way we wanted. I didn’t want to limp home,”

That’s what he told the Philadelphia Inquirer in 2006, saying that the show was meant to be four full chapters.

“My father always said, ‘Never go anyplace where you’re only tolerated.'”

So the decision was made to end things with a couple two-hour TV movies that were expected around 2008.


They never happened. Clearly.


During an interview with Vulture in 2012, Milch was asked if those movies were ever going to happen;

No, I don’t think so. We got really close about a year ago. Never say never, but it doesn’t look that way.

Well now it would seem there is a renewed possibility of the show’s return. Last week, taking to his Twitter followers, Garret Dillahunt dropped this on us;

Dillahunt played not one, but two characters on the show; the coward Jack McCall (6 episodes) and Hurst front man Francis Wolcott (10 episodes). Some people have questioned why Dillahunt would be the one to break this news, as both of his characters died, but there is nothing stopping him from playing a third character I would think.

Following these tweets, there was quite the fan outcry and HBO was forced to confirm;

“In reference to Garret Dillahunt’s tweet regarding the rumored ‘Deadwood’ movie, there have only been very preliminary conversations.”

Preliminary conversations are better than nothing. And the stars seem to be getting in line as well; Ian McShane is already set to return to HBO, joining the cast of Game of Thrones. He is currently appearing on Showtime’s Ray Donovan, along with fellow Deadwood resident Trixie (Paula Malcomson). The other central star of the show, oppisite of McShane’s Al Swearengen, was Sheriff Seth Bullock, played by Timothy Olyphant. As you may know, Olyphant followed up Deadwood with a similar character by the name of Raylan Givens on a show called Justified. As it so happens, Justified has just ended its run, so his schedule appears to have cleared up a bit.

Bullock and Givens

It should be pointed out that HBO has recently also been in talks to make a Flight of the Conchords movie as well. That one seems like it’s more likely to happen, but we’re holding out hope for a return to Deadwood.

Images: HBO, FX
Sources: Garret, Vulture, Grantland

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