This shouldn't come as too big a surprise, given that it's been nearly two years since "Deadwood" finished on HBO and its creator and a number of its actors have gone on to other things. But the two movies that supposedly would wrap up the series aren't going to happen.
That was the word this afternoon from Richard Plepler, co-president of HBO, and Michael Lombardo, president of the cable channel's programming group. "I think it's safe to report that the likelihood of a 'Deadwood' movie happening is slim to none," is how Plepler put it.
To refresh: When "Deadwood" ended in August 2006 with more than a couple stories unresolved, and creator David Milch moved on to working on "John From Cincinnati," HBO (under a previous management team, it should be noted) said it would film a pair of two-hour movies that would bring the tale of the lawless Dakota Territory town to a close.
Since then, status updates on the show have been a regular part of the HBO press tour sessions. Milch himself said in early 2007 that he was optimistic that the movies would get made and that he was working with "Generation Kill" author Evan Wright on the first of two scripts.
Milch is still working with HBO -- just not on "Deadwood." He's collaborating with former New York cop and "NYPD Blue" writer-producer Bill Clark on "Last of the Ninth," a pilot set in the corrupt NYPD of the early 1970s. Several of "Deadwood's" principal stars have also moved on -- Timothy Olyphant just began work on FX's "Damages," and Ian McShane is starring in NBC's "Kings," for instance.
Lombardo says talk of the "Deadwood" movies never got much past a "discussion stage," Milch's 2007 statements notwithstanding. "Some of it was a function of time, some of it was a function of intervening events," Lombardo says. "... It just did not ever really come together."