TCA: Billy Bob Thornton Joins FX’s ‘Fargo’ as a New Character

All characters in the new series will be original, FX says

Last Updated: July 16, 2014 @ 3:50 PM

Billy Bob Thornton has signed on to FX's new "Fargo" adaptation, which will feature all new characters, network CEO John Landgraf announced Friday.

Landgraf said at the Television Critics Association summer press tour that the new, 10-episode limited series won't feature any characters derived from the film. In place of Frances McDormand's pregnant sheriff, the show will feature a young female deputy in her 20s.

Still, he said, the new film is "remarkably true" to Joel and Ethan Coen's 1996 film. Rather than give notes on Noah Hawley's script, the brothers wrote half a dozen pages, including dialogue suggestions.

"The quality of the 'Fargo' scripts is extraordinary," said Landgraf said.

Landgraf also said the story of the characters ends during the 10 episodes, so if the show returns for another run it would have to be with new characters.

Filming starts in the fall, and the show is expected to air in the spring.

It is executive produced by Hawley, the Coen brothers, and Warren Littlefield. Berstein, who is represented by ICM Partners, will also executive produce the premiere. Adam Bernstein will direct the premiere, and FX Productions and MGM Television produce.

The film "Fargo" was nominated for seven Academy Awards. The Coens won for Best Original Screenplay and McDormand won for Best Actress.  It was named as one of the 100 Greatest American Movies by the American Film Institute.