HBO is finally ready to make a return to South Dakota, as the long-discussed Deadwood revival movie has been officially ordered, with production expected to begin this fall. There has been a great deal of rumors and speculation swirling about the proposed project for some time, with cast members sharing their thoughts on series creator David Milch’s script and Ian McShane saying the premium cabler is “keen” on making a return to the rough and tumble town. However, the process of aligning its various stars’ schedules has proven difficult enough that the project hasn’t been able to move forward, until now.
The challenge of gathering Deadwood’s extensive ensemble cast was considerable enough that star Timothy Olyphant (somewhat jokingly) doubted that the project would ever come together earlier this year, during an appearance Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen, while promoting season 2 of his Netflix series, Santa Clarita Diet. Since then there were rumblings from other cast members, like former Fear the Walking Dead star Kim Dickens, which refuted Olyphant’s uncertainty. Dickens was ultimately proven right with the information revealed today.
The details were announced by HBO president Casey Bloys at the Television Critics Association summer press tour, and reported on by TVLine. Bloys didn’t offer up much in the way of details about the revival movie, but he did confirm it has been greenlit and production should begin later this fall. Bloys said:
“We are greenlit on the Deadwood movie. We’re looking at an October start date. It has been a logistics nightmare getting all the cast members’ schedule lined up, but we are there, and it is greenlit.”
This will be great news for fans of one of HBO’s best original series, as the abrupt cancelation of Milch’s poetically profane Western in 2006 left the show without a true conclusion. As such, the delayed return will have a great deal to resolve, and it will be interesting to see how Milch intends to tackle the various character beats in the span of a film, rather than a season of television. Considering how popular (and controversial) revivals have been on television of late, it’s somewhat surprising that HBO didn’t opt to go the season route, truncated or otherwise. But perhaps given the troubling “logistics” of gathering the cast a movie was the only feasible option for bringing some closure to Deadwood. Either way, it's been a longtime coming, and hopefully the return will be worth the wait.
The Deadwood movie does not yet have a premiere date.