Amazingly, it’s been 15 years to the day from the premiere of David Milch’s groundbreaking HBO drama series, Deadwood, a historical melodrama about the South Dakota settlement in the 1870s. The show was a critical darling with its mixture of base individuals and frontier justice bathed in cuss-laden, nigh-Shakespearean dialogue but only lasted three seasons, ending August 27, 2006.
Since that last episode–ending on a bit of a cliffhanger with the amoral businessman George Hearst moving in and making life miserable for the flesh-peddlers and panhandlers of the territory–rumors of a feature film finale have circled. Now, after 13 years, the Deadwood movie is on its way, and there’s a teaser!
It’s unclear whether the movie will pick up exactly where the series ended, despite several of the actors looking demonstrably older than they were a decade and a half ago, but since Gerald McRaney who played Hearst in season three is shown, and the real Hearst left Deadwood in 1879, only a few years after arriving, I’m going to bet it’s just a direct continuation.
It’s unfathomably nice to see Ian McShane‘s Al Swearengen again, and especially to hear his mellifluous vocalizing. It’s equally nice to see Timothy Olyphant still rocking a moustache and unflinching sense of justice as Seth Bullock. Their rivalry-turned-reluctant-partnership was one of the best aspects of the series, and to hear Seth ask “What’s the move, Al?” after all this time is surprisingly exhilarating.
The movie is written by creator Milch and directed by Daniel Minahan who directed four episodes of the Deadwood series and has gone on to direct a ton of prestige television, including eight episodes of True Blood and five episodes of Game of Thrones. All of the surviving cast will appear except Titus Welliver (damn you, Bosch commitments), and we’ll surely be particularly sad to not see Powers Boothe’s Cy Tolliver. The actor passed away from pancreatic cancer in 2017.
It’ll be good to return to the old town. A sanctuary of debauchery and dreams. Deadwood premieres May 31 on HBO.