Trust me. I’d much rather speak with “Deadwood” actors W. Earl Brown (Dan Dority, left) and Jim Beaver (Ellsworth, right) under happier circumstances. But I had to see if they would confirm and react to costar Ian McShane’s claims that the Western’s set was being dismantled and that the show was, in fact, done.
In August, days after Brown used the metaphor of a horse, “lying trailside foaming at the nostrils and heaving for breath” to describe the state of the show to subscribers of his blog, he was more optimistic about the series’ return in an Aug. 23 MySpace message to me. But in responding tonight at 7:44 p.m. EST to my follow-up inquiry, he confirmed the report of the tear-down and predicted “Deadwood’s” demise:
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 Oct. 02. Those five years are up. The earliest possible date to even start a DW film would be June 08, due to Ian’s schedule. The industry is fearing a possible strike that would start June 08. To keep leasing the property, set dressing, and costumes would cost at least a year’s rental. So… I guess the horse is dead.
Beaver responded to me, in the more traditional e-mail format, 21 minutes later. His take was just as grim:
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I saw the McShane quote. I don’t doubt it. I have NO insights or special knowledge, but my sense of things is that it’s over. I talked to David Milch today. He mentioned he was working on a movie for HBO, but the tone of our conversation led me to believe it was completely unrelated to Deadwood. Funny, I didn’t even think to ask straight out, though. At any rate, my gut tells me that if the movies or a fourth season were going to be made, the announcement would already have been made. That’s just my gut. But Ian’s remarks didn’t surprise me in the least.
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