'Deadwood' Movie Plot Teased By Ian McShane, Including A Returning Villain

After years of waiting, the Deadwood movie is almost here. I still can't believe it myself, and I probably won't fully accept it until I've actually sat down to watch it. For now, though, I can take solace in some new plot details from Al Swearengen himself, Ian McShane. McShane reaffirmed some things we've heard already: that the movie is all about the passage of time, and how much the surviving characters have changed since we last saw them. Get the Deadwood movie plot details below.

Deadwood is one of my all-time favorite shows, and I think it's the second-best show in HBO history (following The Sopranos). Despite critical raves, the dark, violent, vulgar Western failed to draw a huge audience, and was cancelled after three seasons. Immediately upon cancellation, creator David Milch teased the idea of some Deadwood movies to wrap things up. But despite plenty of rumors, nothing happened for years, and fans like myself started to accept the fact that a Deadwood film would never happen. But now, it finally is, and we're going to see it this year.

In season 2, George Hearst (father of William Randolph Hearst, the inspiration for Citizen Kane) showed up in Deadwood, and proceeded to become the show's big bad. Season 3 continued Hearst's attempts to take over the town, butting heads with everyone, including the show's anti-hero, Al Swearengen. Hearst eventually leaves town at the end of the season, but not after much blood has been spilled. But Hearst will return for the movie, along with every other character still living (sadly, Powers Boothe, who played sometimes-antagonist Cy Tolliver died in 2017, making Cy one of the few characters still living at the end of the series who won't be back for the film).

So what happens in the Deadwood movie? Deadline caught up with Ian McShane at the TCAs, and McShane offered up some Deadwood movie plot details:

"Deadwood is celebrating South Dakota as a state, and Hearst has come back and Alma has come back in town, so you have all the main characters converging and how they changed in ten years. Now Hearst wants to put telegraphs in town, which isn't going too well. Al has had a little bit too much of that over the years. There's a surprise for Trixie and Star."

Alma is a character played by Molly Parker, one of the most powerful women in Deadwood. Trixie (Paula Malcomson) is a prostitute that works for Al – in season 3, she shot George Hearst, and Hearst demanded she be killed for the action. Rather than kill Trixie, whom he cares for, Al kills another prostitute instead to appease Hearst. Star is Sol Star (John Hawkes), a hardware store owner in love with Trixie.

McShane's comments, which highlight the things that have changed in ten years, line-up with those of executive producer Carolyn Strauss. Late last year, Strauss told EW:

"It's about the passage of time. The toll of time on people. It's mellowed some people and hardened others. And it's about the town's maturing and becoming part of the Union and what that event sets in motion, in a very personal way for the people that it brings in town and what ensues. The time has taken its greatest toll on [Al] Swearengen. He's the person who really drove so much of the life of the town and there's a sense of that power waning somewhat, and what ensues of that is a big part of the story."

I'm very excited to see how this all plays out. The fact that pretty much the entire cast is returning, and that creator David Milch wrote the script, gives me hope that the Deadwood movie will have been worth the wait. The film will premiere on HBO sometime this spring.