"Fargo," the 10-episode FX limited series based on the 1996 Coen brothers' movies, has assembled a nifty cast, with Bob Odenkirk, Oliver Platt, Kate Walsh and Glenn Howerton joining the already announced Billy Bob Thornton, Martin Freeman and Colin Hanks. Production's slated to start in Calgary in November, with the series airing on FX next spring.
Odenkirk's a particularly busy guy these days -- "Breaking Bad" just ended, but his character is set to be spun-off into a new series entitled "Better Call Saul" that's practically been greenlit by AMC, and he's producing and appearing in IFC's upcoming sketch comedy series "The Birthday Boys."
The "Fargo" series will follow new characters in a new case, taking from the film only its sense of humor, its procedural aspects and its Minnesota culture. Written by Noah Hawley ("The Unusuals"), the series is being executive produced by the Coens. Thornton will play the manipulative Lorne Malvo, who forever changes the life of small town insurance salesman Lester Nygaard (Freeman) after encountering him. Hanks is Gus Grimly, a Duluth Police Deputy and single dad, and Odenkirk is Deputy Bill Olson, a Bemidji deputy partnered with the younger, smarter Molly Solverson (Allison Tolman). Platt plays Stavros Milos, the Supermarket King of Minnesota, Walsh is a former stripper and mother of two named Gina Hess, and Howerton acts as Don Chumph, a personal trainer.
"Fargo" was first adapted into a potential TV series in 1997, with Edie Falco starring as Marge Gunderson in a pilot directed by Kathy Bates that was never picked up.