Deadwood movie talks

Yesterday, actor Garret Dillahunt tweeted “So uh…I’m hearing credible rumors about a #Deadwood movie.” I had the same reaction to that tweet that a lot of other people seemed to have: don’t even play around with this. Deadwood is serious business. Canceled in 2006 after three great seasons and a less than satisfying conclusion, there was talk at the time of two Deadwood movies to finish out David Milch‘s obsessive and idiosyncratic western vision. Those movies never happened.

But now HBO confirms that, yes, there has been some talk about a Deadwood movie. Really early talk, but that’s better than nothing.

Here’s the tweet that started the conversation.

Not long afterward, HBO went on the record to confirm that, yes, there have been some talks. But don’t saddle up just yet. The network’s official statement is:

In reference to Garret Dillahunt’s tweet regarding the rumored Deadwood movie, there have only been very preliminary conversations.

That can mean a lot of things. Creator David Milch said in 2011 that “I still nourish the hope that we’re going to get to do a little more work in that area.”

Years earlier, when the plug was abruptly pulled on the show, HBO had offered to give Milch a short 6-episode fourth season to close out the series. He was unwilling to go that route. That’s when the plan for a pair of two-hour movies landed on the table. But at that point resurrecting all the elements for the series — which had been a particularly expensive show to make — was evidently too difficult.

The TV landscape has changed so much now that Deadwood‘s fate might be very different today, and it isn’t without a little bitterness that we can imagine Deadwood being more successful now than it was a decade ago. Maybe this will be a chance to see if that is actually how it would work out.

One Deadwood star, Timothy Olyphant, has been busy with another TV series for several years, but now that Justified is finished, his schedule may be more open. And Ian McShane, whose magnificently foul-mouthed character Al Swearengen was Deadwood’s most attention-getting aspect, is working for HBO once again with a small but important role on the sixth season of Game of Thrones. So it isn’t difficult to guess what led to some conversations. Whether they’ll become more than conversations is something else altogether.

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