Entertainment Movies Swear it’s true, HBO saddles up for Deadwood movie

Swear it’s true, HBO saddles up for Deadwood movie

Ian McShane as Al Swearengen in Deadwood. Photo: HBO
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There were ‘Huzzahs’ from Deadwood hoopleheads on Thursday with the news that 12 years after its sudden cancellation HBO’s sweariest offering will finally conclude with a two-hour movie.

Production of the Shakespearean western set during the South Dakota goldrush was shut down after its third season, despite numerous loose ends – and portents of fire – that left fans of the Emmy award-winning series hanging out for a conclusion.

Detailing the civilising of the lawless American west, the show aired for 36 episodes between 2004 and 2006. However, salty language, violence and dialogue in iambic pentameter saw it fail to reach a mass audience.

“He wants me to tell him something pretty,” were the final words of saloon owner and chief protaganist Al Swearengen as he scrubbed blood from his bedroom floor, but for years there were no soothing words from HBO as plans for a shortened fourth series and then for two movies came to naught.

Now, with a David Milch script written, California movie tax credits approved and the sprawling ensemble cast ready to return, HBO programming chief Casey Bloys has confirmed a movie will start shooting in October, with broadcast likely in mid 2019.

“All of these people worked hard to get this together,” Bloys said at the Television Critics Association summer press tour.

It’s been a logistics nightmare getting all the cast members’ schedules together, but we are there. It is greenlit.”

Two cast members have died since the series ended – Powers Boothe, who played seething saloon owner Cy Tolliver, and Ralph Richeson, who brought to life endearing simpleton Richardson – but it’s thought most of the key players will be back.

The movie will be directed by Dan Minahan, who has previous Deadwood episodes to his name and has since worked on such classics as Six Feet Under, Big Love, Game of Thrones and Homeland.

William Earl Brown, who played enforcer Dan Dority and has been one of the cast members most active on social media in pushing for a movie, told fans on Twitter “Them @HBO ––––suckers have spit in their palms and shook on it. DEADWOOD is coming back. HUZZAH!”

Kim Dickens, who played Joanie Stubbs in 33 Deadwood episodes, tweeted her joy at the go-ahead, along with her character’s signature top hat emoji.

While HBO might swear it’s true, many long-suffering fans might not believe there’ll really be a Deadwood movie until they’re scoffing canned peaches and unauthorised cinnamon in front of the TV.

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