The last time television audiences heard from Al Swearengen, as portrayed by Ian McShane on HBO’s western drama known as Deadwood, was well over a decade ago. In 2006 Deadwood left the air much to the dismay of fans of the critically-acclaimed series. Those fans have been relentlessly calling for a return since its cancellation was first announced.
Today, the pleading fans have finally received a positive response, even if it wasn’t exactly the response they had hoped for. No, a new series isn’t being produced, but according to Variety, Deadwood is being continued in the form of a made-for-TV movie, which is set to begin filming this fall for HBO networks, according to officials for the premium television service.
HBO’s programming president Casey Bloys made the announcement on Wednesday, July 25, after being questioned about a potential Deadwood return, and seemed happy to answer in the affirmative, after what was apparently a “logistics nightmare.”
“All of these people worked hard to get this together. It’s been a logistics nightmare getting all the cast members’ schedules together, but we are there. It is greenlit.”
When questioned previously about the prospect of a Deadwood movie, Casey has expressed his confidence in the script, alluding that he had full confidence in what would ultimately serve as the foundation for a potential TV-movie followup.
“I wanted a script that would stand on its own … I’m happy to say that [series-creator David Milch] totally delivered on that. It’s a terrific script.”
Casey added that he expects the movie to premiere sometime in the Spring of 2019, though he mentioned that such a premiere was not a certainty as of yet.
The original series ran on HBO from 2004 until 2006 and was known for its brutal, unflinching portrayal of cowboys and the justice system in the Wild West. It is also known for being exceptionally swear-heavy, with the show’s veritable mascot, Al Swearengen, being known for weaving a tapestry of obscenity. Swearengen’s curse-heavy nature, along with numerous others on the series, drew both scorn and adoration from television critics.
Aside from featuring Ian McShane (American Horror Story, American Gods), the series also starred Timothy Olyphant (Justified, Live Free Or Die Hard) in a starring role as Sheriff Seth Bullock, Molly Parker (Six Feet Under, Dexter), Jim Beaver (Supernatural, Justified), and Brad Dourif (One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, Child’s Play).
Most if not all of the cast is expected to return for the Deadwood movie in 2019.