Sunday, 24 January 2016

HBO gives green light to Deadwood movie

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... until now. Following a brief flurry of rumours and scuttlebutt last year, news arrives via TV Line that HBO have confirmed a Deadwood movie has been given the go-ahead.

"David has our commitment that we are going to do it," says HBO President Michael Lombardo. "I've known him for a while and it feels like it's something he's not done talking about. He pitched what he thought generally the storyline would be – and knowing David, that could change. But it's going to happen."

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. The town's history gives us some possible answers, but since that is now potentially spoiler territory, we will leave you to discover those for yourselves, should you be inclined. Quite when we will get to see Milch's version – and who among the original cast will return – is unclear at this point. But Milch will be starting work on Deadwood once he has finished another unnamed project.

Is it too much to hope that Walter Hill, who shot Deadwood's pilot episode, might direct? As always, watch this space.

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