Deadline reports that a deal has been made between MGM and the FX Network to develop an hourlong television series based on Fargo, the Coen brothers’ Oscar-winning 1996 crime / dark comedy film. Noah Hawley, creator of The Unusuals and My Generation, will write and direct. The adaptation will apparently be “loose” which, to my skeptical eyes, begs the question of why one would bother adapting the movie in the first place. The answer, of course, is probably name recognition, because to those with the power to green-light, great movies are brands instead of, you know, art.
Presumably, the show will not turn the kidnapping plot from the movie into a season-long arc, and main character Marge Gunderson won’t be pregnant for the entire time. More likely, the show will be a procedural with the twist that Gunderson, rather than any more Hollywood-ish hunk or babe, is the protagonist. Really, a show that successfully captures Fargo‘s folksy yet dark atmosphere could be pretty great (although Breaking Bad kind of already does the same thing), but expanding the original, very self-contained story into a series just seems unnecessary.
This isn’t the first time this has been tried – a pilot starring Edie Falco as Marge Gunderson was shot back in 2003, but didn’t get picked up. This time around, though, the Coens are on as executive producers, which indicates that they at least have some faith in whatever “vision” the higher-ups have for the show. And that comforts me about this project at least a little bit. We’ll see how it turns out.