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Ian McShane as Al Swearengen in HBO's Deadwood: The Movie - Photo Credit: Warrick Page / HBO Ian McShane as Al Swearengen in HBO's Deadwood: The Movie - Photo Credit: Warrick Page / HBO

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Ian McShane leaves door open for more Deadwood at Split Screens Festival

Photo Credit: Warrick Page / HBO

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Ian McShane spoke via Skype about the possibility of a followup to HBO’s Deadwood film at NYC’s movie screening at the Split Screens Festival.

No guarantees but it sounds like Deadwood’s story might potentially continue past its cinematic debut according to Al Swearengen himself, Ian McShane. The Gem Saloon proprietor was all smiles on the eve of Deadwood: The Movie’s viewing party at the SVA Theatre for NYC’s Split Screens Festival. McShane did not close the book on a new Deadwood chapter when asked about ‘getting to say goodbye to cast members this time around.’

Host/Interviewer Matt Zoller Seitz jokingly prodded McShane by commenting, “Wait a second here… That’s not what you told me last time I talked to you! You told me this was the last one!” McShane responded, “I’m F***in’ Swearengen, I lie a lot! ” drawing roaring laughter from the crowd. The Deadwood star had said, “The thing is that the story goes on, in every town in America” when reminiscing about creator David Milch’s excellence just minutes earlier.

Seitz inquired if a Deadwood sequel would be set in the high country, to which McShane responded, “No, it wouldn’t be right if Robin [Weigert] wasn’t there!” * Robin (Calamity Jane) was a featured guest at the SVA Theatre to discuss the picture on-stage. McShane detailed how every cast member meant something to the show. “If everybody is not there, it’s not the same!” How it “never felt crammed in” to have so many characters but like a “real town.”

Swearengen literally lives through McShane

Not only was Ian McShane in great spirits, he was on fire all interview in true Swearengen fashion. You could tell the character is part of him and always will be. From the moment he came on screen via Skype at the SVA Theatre, McShane hilariously commented, “What are those three f***in’ empty seats I see there?! I’ll cut their c***s**king throats, whoever did this!”

When there was mention by Director Daniel Minahan about rebuilding The Gem Saloon set because the original had been lost… McShane comedically quipped, “It was because of those Westworld bastards I tell ya!” The legendary actor mentioned how he got back into character by waking up each morning and saying his most famous catchphrase. Any true Deadwood fan can guess what it is!

McShane spoke highly of creator David Milch, crediting his brilliance in crafting the universe responsible for the best three years of his acting life. The Deadwood star said he was happy for the show’s entirety and commented about loving to watch William Sanderson play E.B. Farnum. Elaborating how Sanderson should be in every Shakespeare play because ‘He’s the only one who cane make those funny!’ McShane mentioned the cast and crew had kept in touch and occasionally even had Deadwood dinners every now and then.

Crowd Reaction gauging for Deadwood: The Movie sequel?

McShane mentioned ‘going into a meeting after this,’ a meeting with HBO execs about a potential Deadwood followup, perhaps? HBO representatives were said to be in attendance at the SVA Theatre… Maybe taking in reactions to Deadwood: The Movie from the live audience? Hmmmm. The crowd certainly responded favorably, with a packed SVA Theatre and even vocally engaging with the characters on the silver screen all night.

Visit the official Split Screens Festival website for more information about ‘The Art of Television’ festival (May 29 – June 3). Remember to watch the excellent Deadwood: The Movie on HBO!

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