Saturday, 19 September 2015

Deadwood movie in the works

David Milch's profanity filled HBO Western series Deadwood was abruptly cancelled after three seasons back in 2006, meaning it never managed to conclude its story. In the aftermath, there was some talk of a couple of TV movies to wrap up the threads of the tale left to tell, but they never materialised. Now word arrives via Variety that HBO have confirmed "very preliminary discussions" are taking place for a Deadwood film.

Milch's superb show took the real history and many genuine characters from the South Dakota territories of the 1870s, and crafted a narrative that was riveting, brutal, often hilarious and always astonishingly written. Deadwood revolved around new arrival to the town Seth Bullock (Timothy Olyphant), who started out a hardware store owner and ended up the sheriff. Al Swearingen (Ian McShane), the shifty bar owner who unofficially ran the town, and Alma Garrett (Molly Parker), a widow with a valuable gold claim. There was also Brad Dourif's doctor, Dayton Callie's Charlie Utter and Robin Weigert's Calamity Jane among many others.

Season 3 revolved around the town's dealings with the bastardly George Hearst (Gerald McRaney), and the rest was silence. Thankfully, we do at least have history to tell us some of what happened next. Deadwood burned to the ground in 1899, and Al Swearengen was found dead from a massive blow to the head on a Denver street in 1904.

Will we finally get that conflagration on screen? It's clearly far too early to tell at this stage, and as we said, promises of movies have come and gone before. But Milch told Esquire magazine in 2011 that "I don't know that the last word has been said on the subject. I still nourish the hope that we're going to get to do a little more work in that area."

He may yet get his wish. Even the cast are getting excited. "Come on, HBO" tweeted Garret Dillahunt (so good they cast him twice in completely different roles, as Jack McCall and Francis Wolcott). "You made the Entourage movie. Give the Deadwood fans some closure!" As always, watch this space.

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