A continuation of Deadwood has been a dream for fans of the prestigious HBO Western series ever since it went off the air. The series, which aired its final episode ten years ago this week (on August 26, 2006), was supposed to conclude with a wrap-up movie or two that never came together. In the intervening years, there were various comments from involved actors about a new movie or season but they remained just that, words.
Last August there were reports of talks for a continuation and in January of this year the news came that HBO was finally moving forward with a Deadwood TV movie, to be written by Deadwood’s creator, David Milch. Despite an HBO regime change, the new programming head, Casey Bloys, said at the summer TCA tour that Milch is currently writing - although there’s been no announcement of casting or a timetable for the show, nor any word about a plot or how much time will have passed in the show’s continuity. But now, we have more clues from one of the series’ actors.
Kim Dickens, who played Joanie Stubbs on all three seasons of Deadwood and now stars on Fear the Walking Dead, said this week in an interview with Sirius XM’s Entertainment Weekly Radio that she has been in touch with Milch about a role on the show, and that she’s even seen some script pages:
I know he’s writing…I know lots of us have had our lunches with him. I’ve had my lunch with him, personally. We sat at lunch and he read a few scenes to me between Stubbs, Tolliver, and Jane… He read all the parts. It was amazing, it was funny, it was sad. It was all that it was.
Tolliver was played by Powers Boothe on the show, and Calamity Jane was Robin Weigert, so it sounds like we’ll at least be seeing the two of them. However, there’s been no confirmation that any of the heavy-hitters of the show, particularly Ian McShane and Timothy Olyphant, will be participating in the revival.
Certainly, there are many reasons a Deadwood revival - especially in a time of multiple TV revivals - could work. Milch is one of the greatest TV writers of his generation, and Deadwood one of the best shows, if not the most celebrated. The show, having a period setting, is relatively timeless, and with the advent of HBO Go and HBO Now, a whole lot of people have discovered the series in the years since it went off the air.
The only challenges will be getting all of the original actors, many of whom are rather busy these days, as well as re-creating the show’s look and feel, years after the original sets were struck.
We’ll keep you updated on Deadwood as more information becomes available.