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Over the last few years, Colin Hanks has been focusing his attention and talent on the small screen, with guest appearances and recurring roles in a number of notable series, not to mention a starring role alongside Bradley Whitford in the short-lived 2010 action comedy series The Good Guys. Whitford has since moved on to star in ABC's new comedy Trophy Wife, while it looks like Hanks is FX-bound, as he's signed on to co-star in the Fargo drama that's in the works at the cable channel.
Deadline reports that Hanks has signed on to play Duluth Police Deputy Gus Grimly, "a single dad who must choose between his own personal safety and his duty as a policeman when he comes face-to-face with a killer." Deadline specifically says "co-star" so it sounds like this is a regular role for the limited series.
If you're familiar with the movie, you may be trying to figure out who this character is by that description. From the sound of it, it's a new role and not one inspired by one of the characters in the film. While this limited series is based on on the Coen Brothers' movie and executive produced by the Coens, the story is actually different. The film centered on a Minnesota father and husband who hires a guy to kidnap his wife in an effort to scam money out of his father-in-law. The series will center on an insurance salesman who meets a mysterious stranger who somehow changes his life. Billy Bob Thornton will play the mysterious man, Lorne Malvo, while Martin Freeman has signed on to play the insurance salesman set to be manipulated by him. And it seems Hanks will be the local law. If we had to draw a comparison between Hanks' role and the film's characters, I'd go with Marge Gunderson, except I expect Hanks to be more manly and less pregnant. Assuming he's patient, quick-witted and determined to get to the bottom of a case, there may be some similarities worth noting between these characters. That remains to be seen.
As mentioned, Hanks has had a series of small screen roles in recent years, including appearances in Comedy Bang! Bang!, Ghost Ghirls, NCIS and Mad Men. Amidst all that, he creeped it up as Travis Marshall in a season of Dexter, showing off his dark side in the process. Prior to that, he was building his resume with feature roles, including The House Bunny, King Kong and Orange County. And we can't leave out Roswell, one of his earliest credits. Oh, did we mention he's Tom Hanks' son?
Fargo aside, Hanks' only upcoming credit is a film called No Stranger Than Love, which also stars Community's Alison Brie and IMDB lists in post-production. So it's good to see Hanks lining up his next project, and especially one with so much potential. He's one more great piece of casting for the FX series, which has a 10-episode order.