The colorful, cursing, gold-hoarding, trigger-fingered cast of Deadwood is headed back to HBO on May 31.
In a new trailer for the made-for-TV movie, Al Swearengen delivers a monologue and banters with Seth Bullock, while Deadwood’s massive roster of characters reunites in the Old West town to celebrate South Dakota’s statehood — an event that loomed on the horizon during the show’s last episode, which aired in 2006.
The long-awaited movie is based on HBO’s award-winning series, which followed the residents of Deadwood, South Dakota, as it grew from a simple camp in the 1870s to a full-fledged town and eventually part of the annexed Dakota Territory. The film will feature a script penned by David Milch, the show’s creator, producer, and lead writer, and True Detective creator Nic Pizzolatto, and picks up 10 years after the events of Deadwood‘s third and final season.
“Former rivalries are reignited, alliances are tested and old wounds are reopened, as all are left to navigate the inevitable changes that modernity and time have wrought,” reads HBO’s description of the film, which will serve as a much-delayed series finale for the television show.
Returning cast members for the Deadwood movie include Ian McShane as Swearengen, a role that earned him a Golden Globe Award for his performance as the foul-mouthed owner of the local saloon and brothel. Also returning is Timothy Olyphant as Bullock, Molly Parker as Alma Ellsworth, Paula Malcomson as Trixie, John Hawkes as Sol Star, Anna Gunn as Martha Bullock, Dayton Callie as Charlie Utter, Brad Dourif as Doc Cochran, Robin Weigert as “Calamity” Jane Canary, William Sanderson as E.B. Farnum, Kim Dickens as Joanie Stubbs, and Gerald McRaney as George Hearst.
Widely regarded as one of the greatest television dramas of all time, Deadwood ran from 2004 to 2006 and was nominated for 28 Primetime Emmy Awards, winning eight of them. The series blended historical characters of the era with fictional elements, often using diaries, newspapers, and reports from that time period to guide the show’s narrative. The central theme of the show was an exploration of how order grows from chaos in society, using the famous (or perhaps infamous) lawless community as a setting for the saga.
The series was canceled due to the rising cost of production on the period drama and its ensemble cast’s salaries. HBO initially entertained the idea of a shortened fourth season, but Milch was unwilling to compress his plans for the series’ final season at that point. Subsequent plans for a movie that would wrap up the series popped up over the last decade, but none of the projects gained any traction until talks resumed in 2015. The script was finished in 2017 and production began about a year later, using sets belonging to another popular HBO series, Westworld.
Updated on March 21, 2019: Added trailer and release date.