For over a decade there was talk of a “Deadwood” feature film with little progress. It had gotten to the point that the actors involved in it were all getting sick of being asked about it and/or getting their hopes up for it.
However the project finally moved forward last year with the highly anticipated telemovie set to premiere next month. Almost all the major cast are back, including leads Timothy Olyphant and Ian McShane.
While McShane’s enthusiasm has never wavered, former “Justified” and current “Santa Clarita Diet” star Olyphant was famously reluctant to return and suggested in interviews before production began that he wasn’t particularly keen on the idea. In a new interview with TV Line, he explained that he initially wasn’t sure that he wanted to come back:
“High school reunions can be a lot of fun. But repeating your sophomore year? Not so fun. And I couldn’t tell if this was going to be the former or the latter. I didn’t know what it was going to feel like. Is it just going to be a lovely reunion, or is going to feel like, ‘Jesus, I’m being asked to do things I regret?’.
Perhaps it’s my own shortcomings, but I’ve never thought of a character ever needing closure. There is no character; it’s just a bunch of lines on a page. I think of it as a job.”
Despite his hesitancy, the actor revealed that the result was worth it and not only did it turn out to have a proper send-off for his character, but the process of making it was far more rewarding and satisfying than he imagined:
“It’s a curious [thing] deciding on whether to do a job when all of your old friends have already committed to it and you kind of think, ‘Well, I’ve never been in a position to be such an asshole’. But it was [ultimately] a really wonderful process with David Milch and Dan Minahan and Carolyn Strauss. I had a lot of conversations with them.
It was so bizarre. It was so surreal. And lovely. [Pauses] It was way more moving than I could’ve imagined. And way more rewarding than I could’ve imagined. I underestimated how much those people meant to me. It’s a lovely goodbye. It is a very lovely goodbye. And I would do it again in a heartbeat.”
“Deadwood: The Movie” comes to HBO on May 31.