How does Martin Freeman, who plays Dr. John Watson in the BBC/PBS series Sherlock, plan on passing the time from the excruciatingly long wait between the premiere of Sherlock 3 and the hopefully inevitable filming of Sherlock 4? Like the rest of us, head to Fargo, of course. According to the Hollywood Reporter, his next role will see him taking on the American television landscape in FX’s remake of the Coen brothers’ 1996 film Fargo.
Knowing my ‘love’ for remakes s I’m sure you do, you won’t be surprised when I admit to being instantly mortified when I first heard of the cable networks plans to create a small screen version of the film classic. There simply was no socially redeeming value in attempting to recreate perfection. That said, with the addition of Freeman to the cast along with the already named Billy Bob Thornton, I may suspend my usual knee jerk gut reaction when it comes to remakes. Admittedly, it will be tough. No Frances McDormand, no William H. Macy, no Steve Buscemi, no Peter Stormare, whom you may not know the name but you’ll recognize his part in Fargo when you see the name of the band he plays in…Blonde from Fargo and, potentially, no woodchipper.
Freeman will play Lester Nygaard, the uninspired car salesman with a desperate need to sell undercoating which was originally portrayed brilliantly by William H Macy in the Coen brothers film. Sounds like the small screen adaptation will take roughly the same storyline but with a bit of different twist with the introduction of Lorne Malvo, played by Billy Bob Thorton, a mysterious stranger who comes to town changing Lester’s life forever. Since the woodchipper kind of put an end to the original storyline, the updated series will follow an all-new ‘true crime’ story with a new case and characters but, thankfully, all nicely wrapped in the humor, murder and ‘Minnesota nice’ of the original.
Production on the initial 10-part series is set to begin in October in Calgary and Canada with a spring 2014 target for an FX premiere. If you haven’t seen the original film…go rent, download, stream now.