Billy Bob Thorton to Play Bad Guy in ‘Fargo’ TV Series

By August 2, 2013
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In case you haven’t heard, Joel and Ethan Coen are executive producing a series adaptation of their Best Picture-nominated dark crime comedy “Fargo” for the FX network. To begin with, the project is a 10-episode limited series featuring a different true crime story in the famous North Dakota town. While the series won’t bring back any of the cast members from the 1996 film, it will reteam the Coen Brothers with one of their former stars.

Deadline has word that Billy Bob Thornton, star of the Coen Brothers’ films The Man Who Wasn’t There and Intolerable Cruelty, has taken a role in the series as Lorne Malvo, a manipulative man who meets a small town insurance salesman and sets him on a path of destruction. The character is described as being similar to Peter Stormare’s character Gaear Grimsrud from the original film.

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While this new project is described as a limited series, FX CEO John Landgraf won’t rule out the possibility of “Fargo” turning into an anthology series along the lines of “American Horror Story.” However, he says that none of the characters from the initial 10-episode run would continue beyond that.

The limited series is a hot prospect right now, as it’s allowing shows like “24” to be revived with shorter seasons in the form of “24: Live Another Day” (which just brought back Mary Lynn Rajskub as Chloe O’Brian). Other FX series like “The Americans” have also been working with shorter seasons, taking cues from our British television counterparts who realized less is more a long time ago.

The unique setting of “Fargo” should make for an interesting and unique series on FX, especially since there aren’t too many darkly comedic crime dramas out there right now, save for “Breaking Bad” occasionally bringing some laughs. And with the Coen Brothers involved, there’s a lot of potential for this to be a cool little series.

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Ethan Anderton
Some of his favorite films include Ghostbusters, The Empire Strikes Back and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, while his favorite TV series include LOST, Mad Men, 30 Rock, Parks & Recreation, Arrested Development and Saturday Night Live.