EXCLUSIVE: We caught up with Ian McShane aka Deadwood‘s saloon kingpin Al Swearengen at TCA today, and he provided some greater insight about what we can expect from the HBO movie version when it premieres this spring.
When Deadwood wrapped in August 2006, the buzz was that if the series had continued, creator David Milch was planning to take the cussing cowboy story in a direction where we would see a great fire in the South Dakota town, with Swearengen escaping on a river barge. However, for the movie that tale was scrapped, with events beginning ten years after we left the likes of Sheriff Seth Bullock (Timothy Olyphant), his right hand man Sol Star (John Hawkes), rich damsel in distress Alma Garrett (Molly Parker) and the notorious George Hearst (Gerald McRaney), who had arrived late in the series’ run to plunder Deadwood‘s gold.
“Deadwood is celebrating South Dakota as a state, and Hearst has come back and Alma has come back in town, so you have all the main characters converging and how they changed in ten years. Now Hearst wants to put telegraphs in town, which isn’t going too well. Al has had a little bit too much of that over the years. There’s a surprise for Trixie and Star,” revealed McShane who was at TCA today for Starz’s American Gods session. McShane won a best actor-drama Golden Globe in 2005 for playing Swearengen on Deadwood and was also nominated for the role at the Primetime Emmys that same year.
One of the most memorable, stand up-and-roar moments from season 3 was when Bullock pulled Hearst by the ear through the town after all the aggravation the wealthy prospector stirred up.
We asked McShane if Milch employed a similar creative process as he did during the run of the show: Milch was known to rewrite pages on the fly while the cast was ready to film, in costume.
“This script was done, but nothing like we did before because it’s a two-hour movie, it’s a whole different thing (next) to doing an episodic,” said McShane.
And what can we expect from the end?
“It ends leaving you wondering,” said McShane. “If it makes $115M, HBO will somehow find a way to do another one.”