‘Sherlock’ Star Martin Freeman Heads to ‘Fargo’ Series on FX

By September 27, 2013
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Martin Freeman

Fans already love Martin Freeman on the small screen in BBC’s contemporary “Sherlock,” but now the British star of Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit trilogy is heading into different crime drama territory.

THR has word that Freeman is set to star in the limited TV series “Fargo,” an adaptation of Joel and Ethan Coen’s 1996 film of the same name. But rather than taking the same story from the film and adapting it to television, the series will follow a different true crime story in the famous North Dakota town.

None of the film’s cast members are returning for the series, but one of the characters from the movie will be returning. Freeman will be playing Lester Nygard, the pathetic car salesman behind the get-rich-quick scheme involving a fake kidnapping of his wife for ransom. William H. Macy brilliantly portrayed the character in the film (earning an Oscar nomination), and we’re sure Freeman will fare well with the character too. The series sees a slightly different version of the character as Nygard is described as an insurance salesman who has seen better days, henpecked by his wife, but has his life is changed forever when a mysterious stranger comes to town.

Fargo - William H. Macy

And while the Coen Brothers aren’t writing or directing the series, they will act as executive producers. Plus, their Man Who Wasn’t There and Intolerable Cruelty star Billy Bob Thornton was confirmed for a bad guy role at the beginning of August. Thorton’s role is that of Lorne Malvo, a manipulative man who meets a small town insurance salesman (Freeman) 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.

The script for the 10-episode project coming in spring of 2014 hails from writer Noah Hawley (“My Generation”) who will also executive produce, and Adam Bernstein (“30 Rock”) will direct the pilot episode. That’s an interesting blending of talent behind the camera and on the page, so this should make for quite the engaging limited series. As was indicated previously by FX CEO John Landgraf, “Fargo” could turn into an anthology series like “American Horror Story,” but in that same vein, characters won’t carry over into new seasons. Stay tuned for more developments.

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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.