In a development that’s pretty unprecedented in recent television history, the FX version of Fargo has taken a beloved movie from two decades prior, produced a TV series based not on its characters but rather its setting, style and general vibe - and turned it into something truly great.
The show was created by Noah Hawley and set in a wintry, suburban/rural Minnesota that fits in the continuity of the Coen Brothers’ original movie - and though the show contains various nods to the film, it incorporates no references to any of the movie's characters. Season 1, starring an ensemble cast led by Billy Bob Thornton, Martin Freeman and Allison Tolman, was very good; season 2, featuring an all-new led by Kirsten Dunst, Patrick Wilson, Ted Danson and Bokeem Woodbine, was even better. Now, after a delay, Season 3 is coming together, and appears to have found its female lead.
It's now being reported that Carrie Coon, who has stolen scenes throughout the first two seasons of HBO’s The Leftovers, will play a leading role in Fargo's third season. Ewan McGregor was previously cast as the male lead in Fargo season 3 and will play a pair of twin brothers during the season (one which isn’t scheduled to air on FX until 2017).
According to the report from Variety:
Coon will portray Gloria Burgle, a practical woman who grabs the fire extinguisher when the bacon catches fire and everyone else panics. Gloria is the chief of the Eden Valley police, and a newly divorced mother who is struggling to understand this new world around her where people connect more intimately with their phones than the people right in front of them.
This is good news, for those who enjoy Fargo and good television in general. Coon was little known prior to the premiere of The Leftovers in 2014, but she’s been the best part of that series for its entire run, as Nora Durst, the woman who lost her husband and children in the Sudden Departure and has grieved them with great difficulty ever since. The actress also played a memorable role as Ben Affleck’s sister in Gone Girl in 2014 too. The end of The Leftovers after one more season frees Coon up to take the Fargo role, which - as a tough female police office r- is squarely in the Fargo tradition of the movie’s Marge Gunderson and the first season’s Molly Solverson.
Any concerns? The one risk with starting all over with a new cast and storyline is that the new one won’t be as strong as the last one’s. And the whole “where people connect more intimately with their phones than the people right in front of them” bit is the sort of lazy, old-fogey attitude that Fargo is usually far above.
The third season of Fargo is set to debut in 2017 on FX.