With Noah Hawley as showrunner, both seasons of Fargo have won FX considerable critical acclaim and many awards and nominations. Loosely based on the Coen brothers' 1996 film of the same name, Hawley has delivered two seasons full of graphic violence, drama, mystery, and dark humor, which helps Fargo stand apart from other shows.
What also sets the series apart is: although it is an anthology, the seasons are linked. Both seasons featured cop Lou Solverson, played by Keith Carradine in season 1, and Patrick Wilson in season 2. While season 1 was set in 2006, the second season took viewers back in time to 1979, with a different cast and mostly different characters -- with the exception of Lou Solverson and his daughter, Molly (played as an adult in season 1 by Allison Tolman). The caliber of the cast is stellar; season 1 was led by Billy Bob Thornton and Martin Freeman, with Colin Hanks, Tolman and Carradine. Season 2 starred Kristen Dunst, the aforementioned Wilson, Jesse Plemons, Jean Smart, Ted Danson, and Nick Offerman.
FX ordered a third season of Fargo before season 2 had finished airing. The news came as little surprise. After all, Hawley and his team are capable of writing gripping and enjoyable TV, which stars have lined up for. Case in point: Deadline reports that Ewan McGregor has been cast in not only one, but two central roles for Fargo season 3.
Hawley has confirmed season 3 will be set a few years back from the present day; the idea being that Fargo always purports to be "based on true events," so it would take time for the events to become known. Nothing is yet known about the storyline for season 3, but Hawley has admitted the time setting could "potentially" mean characters from seasons 1 and 2 could appear as older versions of themselves. McGregor's roles will be new characters to the world of Fargo, however.
The actor will play brothers Emmit and Ray Stussy. Emmit is described as "The parking lot king of Minnesota" and a "self-made family man" who views himself as an American success story. Ray, meanwhile, is the younger of the two and is described as someone who "peaked in high school." Balding, pot-bellied, and employed as a parole officer, Ray has a huge chip on his shoulder over the hand he's been dealt, and he blames his brother for his misfortunes, which gives rise to plenty of drama on screen between the two.
Fargo's third season is expected to start shooting later this year and will premiere on FX in 2017. At present, McGregor is shooting the Trainspotting sequel in Scotland. He will also be seen in American Pastoral, being released this fall, which marks his directorial debut. The actor will then switch gears to play the part of Lumiere in Disney's forthcoming live-action adaptation of Beauty and the Beast, which will be released in March, 2017, so filming for Fargo will be a challenge on his time. But given the critical success Fargo has enjoyed, it is understandable why big-name stars are lining up to be a part of the show, and with any luck, McGregor will be the first of many high-profile names to be announced in due course.
Fargo season three is expected to air on FX sometime in 2017.