Deadwood TV Movies Update
Deadwood creator David Milch talks about the status of the upcoming HBO movies.
January 24, 2007 - Deadwood fans were crushed last summer to learn the HBO series was ending after only three seasons, and without a real series finale - When the third season completed production, the producers and actors assumed they'd be returning for another year, so the story was left open ended. HBO eventually announced they'd reached a deal with Deadwood creator David Milch to do two TV movies, to allow Milch the opportunity to properly finish the story. Not a lot has been heard since on the films, as Milch has begun production on his new HBO series, John From Cincinnati.
However, at the recent TCA (Television Critics Association) Press Tour, Milch was on hand to promote John, and the topic of Deadwood came up. Said Milch, "I spent a significant portion of yesterday in collaboration with Evan Wright, who's a wonderful writer, with whom I'm doing the first of the two Deadwood two-hour films. And we're very optimistic about the outcome of that work, and it's our intention that just the moment that we complete production on John From Cincinnati to begin work on that."
After the Q&A for John From Cincinnati, I was among a group of press who asked Milch a bit more about the Deadwood films. Milch seemed somewhat hesitant to say the films would be happening for sure, musing that, "There are imponderables in every undertaking. But I can tell you that I'm gonna have a pretty good script set in 1879, if they don't do it!"
However, Milch did confirm, "We have contracts, we have the set, we're doing the script." Asked what he felt could go wrong to stop the project, Milch explained there were no specifics he was concerned about, but that he felt anything could happen in general, saying, "How about a bomb? I've had 7 angioplasties. There's plenty that can go wrong."
Asked if the cast have been contracted to return, Milch answered, "That's been done. I don't know if every one of them is available, because to some extent it's contingent on the shooting. But I know that Ian [McShane] has differed; he's engaged to do a Broadway play. He's differed it for two months, to be available [for Deadwood] in the late summer, early fall. We have every intention of going forward."
I asked Milch if Gerald McCraney's character George Hearst might return in the films, considering he left town in the third season finale. "I wouldn't be surprised to see him," Milch coyly answered.