The Deadwood movie is happening.
Sure, fans of HBO’s tremendous and criminally unfinished Western series from NYPD Blue creator David Milch have heard that promise before. But it’s officially official this time, with a production timeframe, release target, and everything.
Confirmation comes from no less an authoritative source than HBO chief Casey Bloys, who said as much during his Television Critics Association session on Wednesday. Production is set to begin in October, and Bloys is hoping for a spring 2019 premiere.
Behind the camera, Milch is set to write and Daniel Minahan — who helmed four episodes of the series — will direct. And that’s it. That’s the extent of what we know. Bloys refused to say anything else.
“Let’s take the green light and celebrate that,” he said to ward off any follow-up questions (h/t The Hollywood Reporter).
There’s a long, looooooooooong history of false starts and failed attempts to revive Deadwood that I won’t get into here. For such an on-again/off-again project, it makes more sense to just wait and see what HBO reveals as more pieces fall into place. This series ended more than a decade ago; the fewer expectations you have, the better.
As for the series itself, Deadwood ran for three seasons on HBO, from 2004 to 2006. It was a critical darling, with eight Emmy wins, and it built up a small but passionate audience.
The series chronicles the life of a small-town community in 1870s South Dakota. While not built as a strict re-telling of history, Deadwood does feature a number of familiar names in major and/or recurring roles, including folks like Wyatt Earp, Wild Bill Hickock, Calamity Jane, and George Hearst (among others).
What course the movie treads now, a full 12 years after the last new episode aired, remains to be seen. But it’s happening! It’s finally happening! Probably!