Photography: HBO

Timothy Olyphant, Ian McShane are among the original series stars sought for the planned HBO movie.

Good news, Deadwood fans: The long wait may finally be over.

While speaking to journalists Wednesday in Pasadena, California, at the summer press tour for the Television Critics Association, HBO Original Programming chief Casey Bloys announced he had received — and was greatly impressed by — a script for a Deadwood movie by David Milch, creator of the down-and-dirty western series that ran for three seasons, 2004-2006, on the pay-cable network.

Bloys said he had wanted a script “that would stand on its own — that if you were a Deadwood fan, it would make you happy, and if you had never watched Deadwood, you could still enjoy it.

“And I’m happy to say that David totally delivered on that. I think it’s a terrific script.”

So what’s the next step?

Ever since Deadwood ended in 2006 without neatly tying up all of its dangling plot threads, fans have yearned for a satisfying sense of closure, with either a miniseries or movie spin-off. Over the past decade, there has been a steady succession of tantalizing rumors, false starts, and dashed expectations. Dare we hope for a happy ending this time?

“If we can do it for the right budget,” Bloys said, “it makes sense. We’re taking to directors and we’re getting the cast together — which is not an easy task. Then we’re inclined to do it if we can get over those hurdles.”

The original series starred Timothy Olyphant (who went on to arguably greater success with Justified), Ian McShane (now on view in the Starz series American Gods), John Hawkes (Winter’s Bone, the forthcoming Small Town Crime), Molly Parker (Dexter, House of Cards), Titus Welliver (Amazon Prime’s Bosch), among others. According to the showbiz website Deadline.com., former cast members have been approached about their availability. Entertainment Weekly reports that McShane’s contract with Starz “included a clause that allowed him to do the Deadwood movie so as long the production dates did not conflict with American Gods.”

Watch this space for further developments.

Explore:EntertainmentTV