The ‘Deadwood’ movies are finally happening (maybe)

The “Deadwood” movie is finally happening!

Unless it doesn’t.

Late last year, “Deadwood” alum Garrett Dillahunt said he was hearing “credible rumors” that there was finally movement on the looooong-gestating idea of wrapping up David Milch’s epic HBO Western with a TV-movie. (Originally, the plan was for two movies, but given that “Deadwood” ended a decade ago with no movement on these films, one is probably the most anyone can ask for.) And yesterday at the TCA press tour, HBO’s Michael Lombardo told TV Line’s Michael Ausiello, “David has our commitment that we are going to do it. He pitched what he thought generally the storyline would be – and knowing David, that could change. But it’s going to happen.”

But there remain, as always, a whole lot of moving parts here. First, Milch has another project he’s working on before he can turn his full attention to the “Deadwood” film. And the “Deadwood” set – one of the largest and most expensive ever built for a television show – would have to be recreated in some form, though the fact that the real Deadwood suffered a major fire not long after the events of the series would give Milch and his team license to build something that looked incredibly different.

More problematically, there’s the question of the show’s large cast, which had a few dozen significant speaking roles at different points. Timothy Olyphant and Ian McShane aren’t currently locked down with regular jobs (making a movie while “Justified” was on the air would have been nearly impossible), but there’s still the matter of arranging everyone’s schedule at roughly the same time. The show’s about a community, rather than just a couple of guys, and isn’t really built for the “Arrested Development” Netflix approach where everyone’s off in their own scenes, not interacting with one another.

Lombardo noted that the cast remains incredibly close, and “Deadwood” alum W. Earl Brown confirmed that when I expressed some skepticism on Twitter about whether this might ever really happen.





Would I love to see a Milch-written “Deadwood” film featuring most of the original cast? Abso-fucking-lutely. But, as I’ve written about before, the “Deadwood” series finale functions as a much better end to the series than it gets credit for, because of how messily things ended between Milch and the HBO regime at the time.

But as Milch liked to say, “If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans.” If a screener arrives in my inbox, I’ll be thrilled. But we’ve been down this road too often before to get my hopes up until then.