Cast members Kim Dickens and Dayton Callie say HBO has gotten in touch with them to inquire about their availability for a possible Deadwood movie, another good indication that the network is moving forward with plans to produce a one-off film to wrap up the story left in limbo upon the cancellation of the acclaimed series. Deadwood creator David Milch reportedly submitted a script to HBO, and star Ian McShane says the network is "keen" to make the film.
Set in a fictionalized version of the titular Old West town, Deadwood ran for three seasons on HBO, garnering loads of critical acclaim along the way. Notable for its highly detailed grittiness and poetically profane dialog, Deadwood featured a rich cast of characters including McShane's Machiavellian barman Al Swearengen, Dickens' ill-starred prostitute Joanie Stubbs and Callie's kindly businessman Charlie Utter. High production costs forced HBO to cancel the series in 2006 after just three seasons, and for the last decade there have been persistent rumors that the story would be given a worthy conclusion via a movie.
During an appearance at SDCC promoting their AMC zombie show Fear the Walking Dead, Dickens and Callie told TVLine that they both have been contacted by HBO about their availability for a Deadwood film. Dickens spoke previously about reading Milch's script for Deadwood, calling the screenplay "painful and beautiful."
In an recent interview, McShane talked about his own availability for a Deadwood movie and indicated that a "window" would open up late in 2017 when he would be able to do it.
It’s when they’ll make an offer and when we can fit it in. We probably won’t start American Gods until probably the end of the year or early next year, so there’s a window when we can do Deadwood, but they need to get everybody together. I mean all the characters that David [Milch] wants to put in the show.
Assembling the cast would likely be the trickiest part about getting a Deadwood movie rolling during McShane's limited window. In addition to McShane, Dickens and Callie, the movie would certainly have to include Timothy Olyphant as reluctant lawman Seth Bullock, Molly Parker as resilient widow Alma Garret, John Hawkes as shopkeeper-turned-politician Sol Star, Brad Dourif as long-suffering medical man Doc Cochran, Paula Malcomson as fiery prostitute Trixie and Robin Weigert as tortured alcoholic Calamity Jane - though fans no doubt can list multiple other actors/characters they consider indispensable). Sadly, another principal cast member Powers Boothe recently passed away; he played tavern owner Cy Tolliver.
The desire seems to be there on the part of HBO to make the movie happen, and the cast members who have spoken about the project all seem excited to do it. And Deadwood fans who hate that the show was never given a proper wrap-up undoubtedly would love to see Milch's vision for the film come to fruition. It now seems it's only a matter of time before the Deadwood movie heads into production.