When the news first hit that FX was interested in a series based on Joel and Ethan Coen’s 1996 award-winning film Fargo, many assumed it would follow the same general plot: an inept and cash-strapped car salesman arranges to have his wife kidnapped in the hopes of collecting a sizable ransom, the kidnapping goes awry, and matters quickly escalate to include multiple homicides.
In true Coen Brothers fashion, Fargo is an honest to goodness black comedy where laugh out loud moments are deftly interwoven with vicious and outrageous acts of violence. In that sense, a series of the same tone fits in perfectly with FX’s rather mature slate of programming (Justified, American Horror Story, Sons of Anarchy, and so on).
We’ve since learned the Fargo TV series won’t be a direct adaptation of the film, but will follow suit by sticking similar characters into similarly bleak and humorous situations. Billy Bob Thorton stars as Lorne Malvo, a manipulative character who sends put-upon insurance salesman Lester Nygaard (Martin Freeman) down a dark path of destruction. Allison Tolman will play local police officer, Molly Solverson, and is joined by Colin Hanks (Orange County), Bob Odenkirk (Breaking Bad), and Adam Goldberg (NYC 22).
Set to premiere on April 15th, FX has already released a couple teasers and a trailer for the series which give a good sense of how the show will hearken back to its cinematic namesake. This new featurette (above), however, further explores how Fargo the TV series isn’t simply a remake of Fargo the film.
Right off the bat, executive producer/writer Noah Hawley (Bones) makes the point of Fargo being more like a “10-hour movie,” but this isn’t to say the television series will be a sequel, prequel, or connected to the 1996 film in any significant way. Rather, the purpose of the series is to again revisit a small Minnesota town and its gruesome crimes, while having a larger breadth of time to explore the characters and their motivations.
Actor Colin Hanks (Deputy Gus Grimly) also hints that the way the series “intersects with the film and expands this incredibly rich universe“, which seems to imply there will be some, albeit minor, crossover with the film if they’re intending for these Fargo-based stories to coexist in one fictional universe.
With their penchant for mixing raucous comedy and truly malicious behavior, the Coens likely have a surefire hit for FX. A similar, though completely new story will also do the series well to deter those comparing (and therefore judging) it against the original film. Plus, who isn’t looking forward to ten glorious hours featuring characters with that charming Minnesotan accent?
What do you think, Screen Rant readers? Is FX’s Fargo a new series you’re looking forward to? Let us know in the comments below!
Fargo premieres April 15, 2014 on FX.