When Deadwood was cancelled last year after three seasons, HBO calmed outraged fans by announcing that the series would be concluded by a pair of movies. Unfortunately, there’s been little movement on those projects and it’s been looking less and less likely that they’ll ever happen. Now, the stars of Deadwood say our suspicions are unfortunately correct.
Cinematical’s Ryan Stewart recently spoke to Ian McShane (Deadwood’s Al Swearengen) about his upcoming film The Dark is Rising and asked about the status of the long-awaited Deadwood movies. McShane said, “I just got a call on Friday from… a dear friend of mine, who told me that they’re packing up the ranch. They’re dismantling the ranch and taking the stuff out. That ship is gonna sail. Bonsoir, Deadwood.”
The actor went on to say that, even if HBO did want to make the films, he’s already committed to other film projects that will keep him busy until late 2008. When asked if he feels as cheated as the fans, McShane said, “We all do. We all do. It was one of those one-off jobs that you do which has got an extraordinary creative brain behind it, and it kept getting better, and the actors were great. It was a fabulous place to be and work. It was a workshop cum theater cum film. It was an extraordinary time. But everything has to come to an end, babe.”
Responding to McShane’s comments, Jim Beaver (Whitney Ellsworth on the show) told Remote Access, “I saw the McShane quote. I don’t doubt it. I have no insight or special knowledge, but my sense of things is that it’s over … My gut tells me that if the movies or a fourth season were going to be made, the announcement would have already been made. That’s just my gut. But Ian’s remarks don’t surprise me in the least.”
W. Earl Brown (Al Swearengen’s sidekick, Dan Dority) then shared, “I called Ian, it seems that it is true — the sets are being dismantled. It makes sense, HBO had a 5 year deal to lease the lot. We started in October 2002. Those five years are up… The industry is fearing a possible strike that would start June 2008. To keep leasing the property, set dressing, and costumes would cost at least a year’s rental. So… I guess the horse is dead.”
In contrast to Deadwood’s shabby treatment, Brown recalled how other cable series have ended, saying, “Six Feet Under got the best send off episode in the history of television. Soprano’s ending was either great or awful (depending on one’s interpretation of it) but at least it got people talking. Deadwood — it just stopped. No ending. Just Stopped. It’s like never finding out that “Rosebud” was his sled or that Darth was Luke’s father. F***. The final episodes of The Wire will mark the end of HBO’s reign as TV’s best destination. Water coolers across the country will never be the same.” Stay tuned!