New ‘Fargo’ Featurette Distinguishes the TV Series From the Movie

Published 1 year ago by , Updated April 2nd, 2014 at 7:02 am,

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 (JustifiedAmerican 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.

martin freeman billy bob thornton fargo tv series New Fargo Featurette Distinguishes the TV Series From the Movie

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.

Follow Sarah Moran on Twitter @SarahThisIs
TAGS: Fargo
Get our free email alerts on the topics and author of this article:


Post a Comment

GravatarWant to change your avatar?
Go to and upload your own (we'll wait)!

 Rules: No profanity or personal attacks.
 Use a valid email address or risk being banned from commenting.

If your comment doesn't show up immediately, it may have been flagged for moderation. Please try refreshing the page first, then drop us a note and we'll retrieve it. Keep in mind that we do not allow external links in the comments.

  1. Will Fargo Go Far?

  2. I wanted to hear Martin Freeman talk without his English accent as I believe his character is American. I’ve never heard him talk without his English accent.

  3. I certainly won’t miss it. The movie was excellent and it’s easy to imagine more of that kind of story, humor and violence as part of a TV show. And it has a great cast.
    It would have been more encouraging to see the Coen brothers on the featurette, though.

  4. I wonder if anyone will find the briefcase after all these years…

  5. Having only seen the promos and not really reading much about the show I thought the plot would mostly be a retread of the movie made for TV and even though I was interested I wasn’t really all that excited.
    After reading & watching this though my hopes have risen and I’m glad this will be a story with different characters and plot.

    The hairpiece Thorton is wearing is god awful though, god awful. 😉

    • Pretty sure the hair peice is meant to look awful, just look at how odd certain characters looked like in Coen films, look at Javier Bardem in No Country for old men.

  6. This looks very interesting. The Cohens are Minnesota boys themselves, so it’ll be good to have a show set in this area. However, Fargo is in North Dakota, not Minnesota.

  7. The Coens said it best in less than two hours. Why exactly do I need to sit through a pale imitation stretched out to ten?