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It takes a lot to convince us that a remake/reboot/reimagining of a pre-existing thing is a good idea. Original ideas in Hollywood are about as common as haystack needles these days, but sometimes — sometimes! — an idea to bring a pre-existing entity and world to the small screen pays off. And FX’s TV adaptation of the hit Coen Brothers film, Fargo looks to be just that. Even just from the tiny bit we can see in the first teaser released in promotion of the limited series.
Oh, look! It’s our first glance at the reinvented Lorne Malvo — a character poised to resemble the 1996 cinematic counterpart of actor Steve Buscemi, Carl Showalter — as played by one of the series’ two male leads, Billy Bob Thornton. And something tells us ice isn’t the only thing the con man is likely to scrape at during his tenure in North Dakota.
In the new clip, Thornton’s Malvo is getting his daily car-scraping on The Ames Brothers’ “It Only Hurts for a Little While” is playing on the car radio. Obviously, the whole scene isn’t just about ice, as immediately after, the tag line reads “This April, Lorne Malvo has a few things to clear up.”
In the 10-episode TV version of Fargo, Malvo is a drifter that’s ruthless in his manipulations of other people. He’s also the impetus that sends a small-town insurance salesman (Lester Nygaard — played by Sherlock star Martin Freeman) down a path of serious destruction.
But don’t think for a second this is just a word-for-word, shot-for-shot reinterpretation of the iconic film. In fact: it’s an all new story — and all new set of characters — that are poised to live in this world. In addition to Thornton’s Lorne, there’s Colin Hanks as police deputy Gus Grimly, the aforementioned Freeman, Bob Odenkirk as Deputy Bill Oswalt, Oand even Oliver Platt, Glenn Howerton, Keith Carradine, and Kate Walsh set to appear. Seriously not too shabby.
According to Yahoo! TV, FX's version will swap Brainerd for the tiny Minnesota town of Bemidji. Instead of William H. Macy's car salesman Jerry Lundegaard we get Nygaard, a man “so squeezed by life," as explained by the series’ writer, Bone scribe Noah Hawley put it, "to the point where he might snap."
But don’t expect the characters to be simply tropes: "It's not a typical bad guy," Thornton said of Malvo. "It's sort of God and the devil wrapped up into one…a puppet-master, in a sense."
Also worth noting is how the series fits into the larger Coen Brothers’ universe — wherein it essentially turns the film version into a serialized account of this region. “Each season is a separate true crime story from that region,” Hawley explained. “The movie now fits into the series as another true crime story from the region." Fingers crossed it does well enough to see another season or two!
FX’s Fargo is slated to debut Tuesday, April 15th at 10PM.