HBO’s Deadwood: The Movie trailer teases the many character reunions (and violence) to come in the film. It’s been over fifteen years since David Milch’s gritty, foul-mouthed western series premiered on the network, making stars out of then lesser-known actors like Timothy Olyphant and Kim Dickens in the process. While the TV show was a critical darling in its time – winning multiple Emmy awards and taking home a Golden Globe for Ian McShane’s performance as saloon owner Al Swearengen – its ratings were never all that massive and it ended up being cancelled after three seasons.
However, over the decade that followed, it was reported many times over that Milch was working on the script for a Deadwood movie that always seemed to be on the verge of securing a green-light. It finally succeeded in the summer of 2017 and entered production about a year and four months (or so) afterwards, with most of the original series’ cast reprising their roles. The big exception, of course, is Powers Boothe, who (sadly) passed away before he could return as Al’s rival Cy Tolliver in the film.
After dropping some first-look images late last year, HBO began marketing Deadwood: The Movie in full near the beginning of 2019. The network has since released a teaser that confirmed the film’s May premiere date and offered at glimpse at the ten years’ older versions of characters like Al and Deadwood sheriff-turned U.S. marshal Seth Bullock (Olyphant). HBO has since unveiled a full-length trailer for the movie, as you can see in the space below.
Written by Milch and directed by Daniel Minahan (who worked on the original series), Deadwood: The Movie picks up with the show’s leads as they return to Deadwood to commemorate South Dakota’s newly-established statehood. The trailer highlight the many character reunions that take place along the way, including that between Bullock and his former lover Alma Ellsworth (Molly Parker), as well as Charlie Utter (Dayton Callie) and his old pal Calamity Jane (Robin Weigert). On the not so happy end of the spectrum, though, we have George Hearst (Gerald McRaney) – who, in keeping with his power hungry nature (and real-life history), is now a state senator whose return to Deadwood bodes poorly for people like Al and Trixie (Paula Malcomson). After all, lest we forget, Trixie did shoot and try to kill him, before Al covered for her.
Judging by the trailer, the Deadwood movie has the makings of an enjoyable, if potentially heart-breaking reunion with the original show’s characters, including supporting players like Doc Cochran (Brad Dourif), Dan Dority (W. Earl Brown), Sol Star (John Hawkes), and Dickens back as Joanie Stubbs. Unfortunately, it comes with a tinge of melancholy, in light of this week’s news that Milch has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. The writer-producer intends to keep working for the foreseeable future, though, and we’re glad to have him around while we do.
NEXT: Every HBO Show Through to 2020
Deadwood: The Movie premieres Friday, May 31 on HBO.