This coming Friday marks a television event that has been long in the making in the Deadwood movie over on HBO. This is a project that we know fans have been eager to see for quite some time, largely because it is one of the more egregious cancellations in the history of the network. We like to think that in the present era of DVR viewership and streaming, this never would’ve happened — Deadwood is one of those great word-of-mouth shows that gets attention because people talk about it. It didn’t find success right away, but it would have certainly found it in a social-media era. It’s almost like the western version of what Succession is today for the network.
So, given that there’s been an interest in getting this movie together for years, why was now the right time? What made this the perfect opportunity to leap at the opportunity? Sure, there was making sure most of the cast was available, but odds are they would’ve made themselves available at almost any juncture. This was more about making sure that there was a reason for everyone to be brought back story-wise — after all, with such a long passage of time, Deadwood really isn’t the same anymore. Many of these characters are in different places now; they didn’t just stop in time the moment that the series finale aired.
Speaking on the subject via TVLine, here is some of what Ian McShane had to say on the subject of the story and how necessary it was to get every aspect of it correct:
The difficulty was always getting a script that took the best episodic parts of Deadwood and translated them into a two-hour movie. Because they’re very different creatures. It’s a delicate balance… Everyone wanted to get the story right, the plot right. I think hanging [the movie’s narrative] on [South Dakota’s statehood] gives it a legitimate reason for people to come back who don’t live there anymore.
Do we foresee this movie eventually leading to some other movies? Probably not, mostly due to the fact that Deadwood exists now mostly for the sake of tying up so many loose ends from so many years ago. It would obviously be fun to give in this world for a while, but we interpret this end as more of a hunt for closure and an opportunity to satisfy long-term fans. Once this is done, everyone will be able to breathe in and know that they’ve accomplished everything that they set out to do.
Moving forward, we do certainly know that many of these actors will be busy doing some other things once more. With American Gods and other work, McShane is always in demand; meanwhile, we’re going to be telepathically doing whatever we can in order to see Santa Clarita Diet revived over at Netflix. We’re still somewhat gobsmacked that we’re in this position with it in the first place.
What do you most want to see when it comes to the Deadwood movie? Be sure to share right now in the comments. (Photo: HBO.)