While Game of Thrones' final season is exciting and all, for a lot of people, the real excitement on HBO this year is the Deadwood movie, which comes 12 years after the series' final season. The idea of a movie to wrap up David Milch's amazing, gorgeously profane Western series was talked about from the minute it got canceled but was also something that seemed as likely as a new My Bloody Valentine album. We got a new MBV record (and supposedly another is on the way) and now, against all odds, the new Deadwood will be out May 31, reuniting most all of the cast, including Timothy Olyphant, Ian McShane, Molly Parker, Paula Malcomson, John Hawkes, W Earl Brown, Gerald McRaney, Brad Dourif, William Sanderson, and more. It's set 10 years after the events of the third season finale. and finds most of the characters reunited in Deadwood to celebrate South Dakota's statehood. "Former rivalries are reignited, alliances are tested and old wounds are reopened, as all are left to navigate the inevitable changes that modernity and time have wrought." You can watch the new official trailer for the Deadwood movie, which is soundtracked by Colter Wall's "Sleeping on the Blacktop," below.

Speaking of musicians, among the many onscreen in the movie is musician Jason Isbell. According to a feature on Deadwood in Rolling Stone, Isbell is friends with W. Earl Brown, who plays Dan Dority on the show, and Brown invited him to visit the set (Isbell is a big Deadwood fan) and ended up getting cast to play background extra part as a musician. That's an on-set pic above with Jason, Sean Bridgers (Johnny), W. Earl Brown and what looks like Garret Dillahunt (who has played two different characters on Deadwood already but is not mentioned in the cast list for the movie.) So keep your eye out for that.

W. Earl Brown has since shared some stories from when Isbell visited the set:

There were always plenty of guitars around that set and it didn’t take much prodding for Isbell to pick one up. He and I started playing “Pancho & Lefty”...Robin Weigert and her group of visiting friends were the first to wander over and listen. Then McShane. Then McRaney. Then Olyphant... before long, we had a genuine hootenanny on our hands. Sean asked, “Can you play ‘Speed Trap Town”? Jason did. Next, Olyphant said, “I’d really love to hear that happy song you write about me — you know, ‘Olyphant’” Jason played “Elephant.”

By this point Brent Sexton had garaged his guitar and joined in. When we played “Long Black Veil” Keone sang a verse. At its coda, he said “Keep going, Same progression” He proceeded to sing “Hawaiian Cowboy” in his native Hawaiian tongue. Then Cleo King sang a gospel number and her voice raised the roof off the place. There were at least a dozen cast members sitting in that circle joined in musical communion.

One, however, missed it.

Being as she was last in the makeup chair, the Joyful Noise had momentarily ended by the time Anna Gunn got to stage. It was almost time to shoot and the cast had to get prepared.

“In the makeup trailer, they said you were singing earlier...”

I nodded with the guitar still in my lap.

“They said it was phenomenal. Said you have a friend here who is great.”

“Yes, Jason is very talented.”

“Jason? That’s your friends name?”

“Yes. He’s over there at the craft service table, getting coffee.”

She turned toward crafty...


“You’re looking at him”

“Jason Isbell was sitting here singing? And I missed it?”

“He will probably do it again. We have three days on this scene.”

She had a list of requests by lunchtime.


Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit will be on a co-headlining tour with Father John Misty this summer.

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