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Wednesday January 29, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Wednesday January 29, 2014 MYT 5:55:18 AM
by greg braxton
Tweaked for TV: Martin Freeman (left) and Billy Bob Thornton star in the TV version of Fargo.
The upcoming TV series will look different but sound the same as the film.
Fargo is coming back as a TV series, but viewers shouldn’t confuse the FX series with the Oscar-winning 1996 film from Ethan and Joel Coen.
The upcoming programme will be a limited drama series, inspired by the film, that will feature a true crime story with new characters established in the trademark humour, dialect, murder and “Minnesota nice” of the original film. The 10-part series will debut April 15, the network announced recently during the winter TV press tour in California.
The character of Marge Gunderson, the pregnant law enforcement officer played by Frances McDormand in an Oscar-winning performance, will not be a part of the new series.
Key to the new Fargo will be the feel of the Minnesota region, where people “have an inability to communicate,” said Noah Hawley, executive producer and writer of all the episodes. “It’s a stoic culture where people don’t talk about feelings. It’s broken the way people communicate.”
The project stars Billy Bob Thornton as Lorne Malvo, a drifter who meets and forever changes the life of small town insurance salesman Lester Nygaard (Martin Freeman).
Duluth Police Deputy Gus Grimly (Colin Hanks) is a single father who must choose between his own personal safety and his duty as a policeman in investigating the case. Allison Tolman also stars as Molly Stevenson, an ambitious deputy.
The Coen brothers are listed as executive producers, along with former NBC entertainment head Warren Littlefield. But the filmmakers are not directly involved with the production, which was filmed in Calgary, Canada.
“TV is not their medium,” Hawley said. When Ethan Coen read Hawley’s pilot script, he responded, “Yeah, good,” and gave the project his blessing, Hawley said.
“When Ethan said, ‘Yeah, good,’ that means he’s over the moon,” said Thornton, who appeared in the brothers’ 2001 The Man Who Wasn’t There.
In other news, Zach Galifianakis and Michael Cera will star in upcoming pilots for FX. Galifianakis, the star of several hit movie comedies including The Hangover franchise,” is creating and will star in a pilot that he will co-write with Louis C.K. The network also announced Louie will return for a fourth season in May.
Cera (Juno) and John Hawkes (Winter’s Bone) will star in How And Why, a pilot from screenwriter Charlie Kaufman (Being John Malkovich). The show revolves around a man who can explain how a nuclear reactor works but is clueless about life. Kaufman will write and direct the pilot and serve as executive producer. — Los Angeles Times/McClatchy-Tribune Information Services
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