Bob Odenkirk, Oliver Platt, Kate Walsh and Glenn Howerton are among the stars joining Billy Bob Thornton, Martin Freeman and Colin Hanks in the FX limited series Fargo, an original adaptation of the classic Academy Award-winning feature film. The announcement was made today by Eric Schrier, President, Original Programming, FX Networks and FX Productions and Steve Stark, President, Television Production, MGM Television. Production begins in November in Calgary, Canada and the series is slated to premiere next spring on FX.
FX's Fargo will feature an all-new "true crime" story, following a new case and new characters, all entrenched in the trademark humor, murder and "Minnesota nice" that has made the film an enduring classic. As previously announced, Oscar winner Billy Bob Thornton stars as "Lorne Malvo," a rootless, manipulative man who meets and forever changes the life of small town insurance salesman "Lester Nygaard," played by BAFTA Award winner and Emmy-nominated Martin Freeman. Colin Hanks plays Duluth Police Deputy Gus Grimly, a single dad who must choose between his own personal safety when he comes face-to-face with a killer.
Rounding out Fargo's colorful cast of recurring characters will be Emmy winner Bob Odenkirk (Breaking Bad), as "Deputy Bill Olson," a Bemidji deputy with seniority over his younger, smarter and more ambitious fellow deputy, "Molly Solverson," played by Allison Tolman (Sordid Lives), who will be a series regular. Golden Globe and Emmy-nominated Oliver Platt (The Big C, and the upcoming features Chef and Kill the Messenger), will play "Stavros Milos," the Supermarket King of Minnesota. Screen Actors Guild Award winner Kate Walsh (Private Practice) will star as "Gina Hess," a former stripper and mother of teenaged twin boys. Glenn Howerton, star of FXX's It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, will play "Don Chumph," an ambitious personal trainer. Joey King (The Conjuring, Oz: The Great and Powerful) will play Gus's daughter, "Greta Grimly" and Peter Breitmayer (The Middle, A Serious Man) will play "Lieutenant Schmidt," Gus's superior officer. Tom Musgrave (Beethoven's 5th) will portray "Bo Munk," Lester's boss at the Bo Munk Insurance Shop, and Josh Close (The Master) will play "Ron Nygaard," Lester's younger and more successful brother. Russell Harvard (There Will Be Blood) and Adam Goldberg (The Unusuals) will play members of the Fargo Crime Syndicate, "Mr. Wrench" and "Mr. Numbers," respectively - Mr. Wrench is the muscle. Mr. Numbers is the mouth.
A 10-episode limited series, Fargo is written by Noah Hawley. Emmy Award-winning director Adam Bernstein (30 Rock) will direct the premiere hour. Executive Producers are Hawley, Warren Littlefield, Joel Coen & Ethan Coen, and Geyer Kosinski. Fargo is produced by FX Productions and MGM Television.
MGM Television will be the lead studio and will handle worldwide distribution of the series outside of the U.S. and Canada.
Fargo, released in 1996, was nominated for seven Academy Awards and won for Best Original Screenplay for Joel Coen & Ethan Coen and Best Actress for Frances McDormand. It was named as one of the 100 Greatest American Movies by the American Film Institute.
Last year, FX announced that it would be producing miniseries and limited series through FX Productions. The network has had tremendous success with traditional drama series, with most of its dramas running seven seasons. By entering the limited series business, FX can produce dramatic programs that have shorter runs - one, two or three seasons - and offer talented filmmakers more freedom.
FX Productions is also in production on the limited series Wayward Pines for Fox. A limited series from M. Night Shyamalan, Wayward Pines stars Matt Dillon and Carla Gugino. It is slated to premiere in summer of 2014.