There's been a lot of speculation about FX's new anthology series, 'Fargo,' over the past few months. But thanks to a recent panel during Tuesday's TCA winter press tour (via The Hollywood Reporter), interested viewers finally got a little more insight into the upcoming show — including an actual premiere date.
Writer and executive producer Noah Hawley explained that the 10-episode limited series will makes its small screen debut on April 15 (aka Tax Day) and feature a number of "true crime" stories that chronicle the life/crime in the town of Fargo, North Dakota (as well as across the border in Minnesota), much like the 1996 Coen brothers movie on which the series is based.
Billy Bob Thornton stars as Lorne Malvo (originally portrayed by Steve Buscemi), while 'Sherlock's Martin Freeman steps into the part of bumbling salesman, Lester Nygaard, which was played by William H. Macy. Meanwhile, newcomer Allison Tolman will bring a new twist on Frances McDormand's ace sheriff, Marge Gunderson, and how she handles life after solving the case depicted in the movie.
"We know tomorrow will be a normal day and that innocence and small-townness is what makes us feel good after the movie ends," Hawley remarks. "It seemed like the wrong idea to make a 'Picket Fences' idea show where something cooky happens every day. That's not a Coen model. She's not going to be same person after seeing so much dark stuff."
But don't feel like you need to have seen the film in order to appreciate the show.
"After a season or two of the show, people who see the movie might say that was a great episode of 'Fargo.' Each season is a separate true crime story from that region. The movie now fits into the series as another true crime story from the region," Hawley explains. "I don't think you need to watch it before [watching the series], but I think you should watch it because it's a great movie, but you don't need to."
As for what's in store for the series beyond the pilot, Hawley says his 'Fargo' version will center around Freeman's Lester following a shocking decision he makes during the premiere.
"Joel and Ethan [Coen brothers] said polite society is often the most violent, and I was interested in taking a man like Lester, who is so squeezed by life that it's pushing him to the point where he might snap," Hawley says of the ensemble piece. "How does that man deal with the aftermath of that?...There's an infection that takes place between Lorne and Lester and…we're heading for a big collision at the end of the thing."
And in regards to what a potential second season would look like, Hawley claims he's already planning to tell a new story.
"You look at the Coens' 'A Serious Man,' which is a more philosophical movie, where you have to accept the mystery and that's a great template for a crime story: that broader element of randomness and real-world details that are stranger than fiction," Hawley says.
But as for whether or not the main stars would return for a second installment remains to be seen. Freeman, however, doesn't seem opposed to the idea though. "If they wanted me back and the scripts were good enough, then yeah," the actor revealed. But, for now, we'll just have to wait and see what the future holds.
'Fargo' premieres on Tuesday, April 15 at 10/9c on FX.