Ian McShane as Al Swearengen in ‘Deadwood.’ Courtesy, HBO.com

Ian McShane as Al Swearengen in ‘Deadwood.’ Courtesy, HBO.com

The ‘Deadwood’ Movie Didn’t Need to Happen, But I’m Glad It’s Here Anyway

HBO Films announced on Monday that production has begun on the Deadwood movie. The follow-up to the acclaimed series from writer David Milch will add one more chapter to the tale of the South Dakota boom town and its inhabitants.

For the uninitiated, Deadwood was an ultra-realistic series set in the slapdash mining camp of Deadwood, South Dakota. It was largely overlooked by audiences at the time — which is why HBO canned it — in the decade since it ended its three-season run, however, Deadwood has achieved a cult status thanks to the inimitable band of characters created by David Milch. If you have HBO and you don’t mind a little grit in your oatmeal, then take some time to introduce yourself to Al Swearengen, Seth Bullock, and the rest of the misfits hoping to strike it rich in the Black Hills.

The film will pick up, fittingly enough, ten years later, on the eve of South Dakota’s statehood. The occasion finds the series’ principal characters reunite to hash things out one final time. HBO describes the film as an examination of, “the inevitable changes that modernity and time have wrought.”

Some see the Deadwood movie as an opportunity for a proper ending to the series that some felt left too much unresolved; others are just happy to see HBO deliver (well, half-deliver, at least) on a promise they made all the way back in 2006. Either way, it’ll be tons of fun finding out what’s happened to the denizens of this muddy, little mining town.

Ian McShane is back as foul-mouthed Al Swearengen and Timothy Olyphant will reprise the role of do-gooder Seth Bullock. Most of the rest of the cast is back as well: Molly Parker (Alma Ellsworth), Paula Malcomson (Trixie), John Hawkes (Sol Star), Anna Gunn (Martha Bullock), Dayton Callie (Charlie Utter), Brad Dourif (Doc Cochran), Robin Weigert (“Calamity” Jane Canary), William Sanderson (E.B. Farnum), Kim Dickens (Joanie Stubbs), and Gerald McRaney (George Hearst) are scheduled to return.