HBO has made some bad cancellations in its history, and near the top of the list has to be David Milch’s brilliant western, Deadwood. Featuring outstanding performances from everyone in the cast, Deadwood was a shocking, thoughtful, unsettling look at life on the frontier and the clash of pre-modern and modern society with ruthless figures playing both sides. While the first season is a little rough, by the time the show hits season three, it’s downright brilliant, and it’s absolutely worth your time.
Back in February, we reported that Milch was writing a script for a Deadwood movie for HBO, but there have been no further details. Today, TV Line reports that Ian Mcshane, who starred as foul-mouthed saloon owner Al Swearengen, is saying that the script is finished. McShane says the two-hour script has been delivered, and says of HBO, “If they don’t deliver [a finished product], blame them.”
Of course, even with a finished script, there are still plenty of steps that need to be taken. HBO has to sign off on the script (it’s still a bit of a tall order to ask the network to pay for a movie that will conclude a canceled series), and then there’s the matter of figuring out everyone’s schedule. It’s a big cast to reunite, and then there’s also Milch to consider. Last month we reported that he’s working with Nic Pizzolatto on a third season of True Detective, so who knows how much of his time that will take.
It’s also worth considering that just because a show returns, that doesn’t mean it will improve matters. While I would have loved more seasons of Deadwood, the conclusion of season three is pretty much perfect. We’ve also seen what happens when shows return and not everything clicks into place. Fans begged for more Arrested Development and The X-Files, and when those seasons came along, they were greeted with mixed reviews. If Milch has a story to tell with a Deadwood movie, I’ll certainly watch it, but it’s not going to be the worst thing ever if HBO decides to pass.