The Coen Brothers Developing a ‘Fargo’ TV Series for FX

Published 3 years ago by

fargo frances mcdormand gun The Coen Brothers Developing a Fargo TV Series for FX

Joel and Ethan Coen are a cinematic force to be reckoned with, thanks to a filmography that includes No Country for Old Men, O Brother Where Art Thou and The Big Lebowski. And yet, the only time the brothers have delved into television was for a Fox TV show called HarveKarbo that ultimately never materialized.

Now, according to a recent report, FX has closed a deal to turn the duo’s Oscar-winning film Fargo (1996) into an hourlong drama series.

Courtesy of Deadline, the Coen brothers will act as executive producers on the series – to be scripted by Noah Hawley (Bones) – and will only be loosely based on the film. The 1996 dark comedy followed a faux criminal plot gone wrong with Frances McDormand as a jovial, pregnant police chief from Minnesota trying to track down a couple of criminals (Steve Buscemi and Peter Stormare) responsible for the death of a policeman and the (staged) kidnapping of a car salesman’s (William H. Macy) wife.

It’s hard to see how that might be adapted into an entire series, so I’m betting the show will merely follow some police officers working in or around the town of Fargo, North Dakota. However, a crime procedural with comedic and dramatic elements could definitely be crafted using Fargo‘s setting and memorable characters, McDormand’s character in particular.

Here’s just a taste of the interrogation we might get from a crime series based on Fargo:

No other details are known about the forthcoming series, but with FX involved, the project won’t have the same kind of boundaries that the four major networks would have to adhere to – which means a cameo from the film’s famous woodchipper isn’t out of the question.

The only concern is whether or not the show will be able to capture the strange, unique spirit that Joel and Ethan Coen inject into their films. Hopefully, their involvement on the show will be substantial enough to make it work.

The Coen Brothers’ next film, Gambit, will hit theaters in 2013.


Source: Deadline

TAGS: Fargo
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  1. Um…. Cool

  2. I think this could be great, ya, loved the film, coen bros have some magnetic bleakness on their style ya!

  3. Literally watched this again last night, hadnt seen it for ages, still quality!

    It could definitely work as a series, would love to see more of Norm and his night crawlers, Shep and his badass Indian ways and of course the ‘irate customer’ who really didnt want that true coat!

  4. LOL…another show I can avoid now. I liked Fargo the movie but don’t really see it as a series

  5. Why?

  6. As someone who actually lived in Fargo for a number of years, I’ve always found it funny that in a movie called “Fargo,” most of it takes place in Brainerd, or the twin cities, or the lake country. You don’t even get that Fargo movie accent until you get WAY further north. Like, up in Canada kind of up north.

    I just hope this doesn’t turn into GENERIC-EDGY TV CRIME SERIES: FARGO EDITION. That’d be pretty lame. There’s not all that much interesting crime in Fargo.

  7. I have great hopes for this show, but as quirky and unusual as Fargo was I am unsure how this will pan out. I love the Coen brothers works and i am exited to see what this may be. I am just afraid that the magic happened there at that time and will be hard to reproduce in a television setting!
    Hell I am still driving around snowbanks in Brainard looking for the $920,000!! ;oP
    So that was Mrs. Lundegaard on the floor in there. And I guess that was your accomplice in the wood chipper. And those three people in Brainerd. And for what? For a little bit of money. There’s more to life than a little money, you know. Don’tcha know that? And here ya are, and it’s a beautiful day. Well. I just don’t understand it.

  8. There are major problems with basing the show IN the city of Fargo. It wasn’t a story with characters from North Dakota, it was based off quirky characters from Minnesota. Having people say “ya you betcha!” in that setting would be ridiculous. Not that people speak that way in Minnesota, either. But the language for the movie was taken from “How to speak Minnesotan”, a book lampooning Minnesota’s Scandinavian heritage.
    I think it would be quite easy to justify the name “Fargo” by having the Francis McDormand character travel to the city in the first few shows to seek a criminal who came from Fargo, and then forget about it.
    If they base it in North Dakota, it could be quite a yawn considering the landscape–lots of nothing. Meanwhile, in Minnesota, you have many small towns, lakes, campers, hunters, ice fisherman, ect that you need to make the show hilarious via good character development.

  9. Oh, let me add: This would probably be a combination of “Twin Peaks” and “Northern exposure”. They just have to make sure they don’t go the entire season looking for a single murderer or murderers, and worse yet, not disclose the killer(s) during the first season. This literally killed “Twin Peaks” and also “Who killed Rosie Larson”.

  10. A Fargo T.V series? All I have to say is no thank you, the movie was overrated and boring, and it was the only movie ever to put to sleep. No joke I fell asleep within the first ten minutes it’s was that boring.

  11. Having had the misfortune to live in MN area for some years, that area is only like the movie in the passive-aggressive “Minnesota nice” manner in which they stab each other in the backs.

    You don’t need to create fiction about these people. Just send a reality show to tape the horrible effects of long-term pervasive alcoholism on what’s left of the culture in much of the state.

    What those people do is way beyond wood chippers. You couldn’t pay me enough to go back.

  12. Hey Ethan, get your geography right. They may have entitled the movie Fargo, but as you JUST stated and as anyone with a brain knows, it’s based in Minnesota – Brainard, Minnesota. They wanted to name it after a familiar city. Don’t go around giving the wrong information.