The last time we checked in on the long-gestating “Deadwood” sequel, there was plenty of smoke without any fire. HBO boss Casey Bloys shared during the 2017 Television Critics Association that showrunner David Milch was hard at work on the script for a movie sequel, albeit one that nobody at the network had seen. “When it’s ready we will take a look,” Bloys said during the conference, inadvertently echoing the sentiment of millions of somewhat-skeptical “Deadwood” fans around the world.
Well, guess what, Bloys? It’s time to start reading. Earlier this week, TVLine asked “American Gods” star Ian McShane if he knew of any updates for the “Deadwood” movie, and he surprised everyone by dropping a fairly enticing piece of news. According to McShane, Milch’s “two-hour movie script has been delivered to HBO,” with the actor laughingly suggesting that fans should now blame HBO, not Milch, if the sequel doesn’t actually end up happening.
This is a pretty big step in the right direction for the project. Between this update and the recent announcement that Milch would be involved in a potential third season of “True Detective,” Milch is suddenly the guy who will make or break the HBO subscription for a lot of people who may have soured on “Game of Thrones.” I remain somewhat skeptical that a movie is a proper sendoff for a show like “Deadwood” — the television format always gave Milch’s characters plenty of time to wax poetic about current events, whereas a two hour running time may limit some of the character work that made the show great — but I’m still going to allow myself to be cautiously optimistic. With the cast and crew seemingly chomping at the bit to revisit the town of Deadwood one last time, this could be a beautiful piece of closure for fans and talent alike.