Everyone is constantly saying that TV is better now than it has ever been but that's pretty much a matter of perspective, and also Deadwood was blooming marvellous.
The HBO show kicked off in 2004 and while many people were dazzled by the likes of The Wire and The Sopranos, this western epic was arguably the best thing around at the time. With rich period detail, incredible characters and inventive swearing its remains one of the landmark shows of all time. Which is why, of course, it was cancelled without an ending in 2006.
At the time no real reason was given for the cancellation, but the cost of a period show was certainly a consideration as well as the large ensemble cast. Creator and writer David Milch has returned to the subject a few times in interviews, suggesting that talks with HBO never really stopped, and today we have a positive result - a movie is in the works.
HBO President Michael Lombardo says that the cable network is committed to working with Milch on a proper finale to the series. They have a rough idea of how it might work and the writing process can now begin in earnest. Milch currently has a project in the works which we haven't yet got the details on but he should be able to dive deep into Deadwood thereafter.
So what does this mean for the ravenous fans who want a little more of that great Western stuff? Well it might be a long wait. Imagine that writing and preproduction takes at least a year, and then there's the mammoth task of recreating those long-lost sets and the meticulously crafted props and costumes which are no doubt dust by now. There's also the huge matter of getting the original cast back in place, including names like Timothy Olyphant, Molly Parker, Kim Dickens, Brad Dourif, John Hawkes, Anna Gunn, Robin Weigert, Garret Dillahunt, Titus Welliver and Powers Boothe. Not to mention the utterly essential Ian McShane who was the standout star of the original series with his role as Al Swearengen pretty much reinventing the actors career.
McShane is 73 now but still looks great and we're sure he'd want to give the character another turn, as would many of the rest of the cast. But they'll need to be compensated in line with their more famous status these days, and it's going to be tough to get those schedules to all match up.
Basically HBO and Milch have a lot of work ahead of them and we wouldn't be surprised if its at least another two to three years before we see a frame of footage. But golly will it be worth the wait.