Bilbo in Fargo: Martin Freeman Leads Cast in Fargo TV Series



UK actor Martin Freeman has already played Watson in Sherlock and Bilbo in The Hobbit (and its upcoming sequels) and will now be taking on the leading role in FX’s upcoming adaptation of the Coen Brother’s classic film Fargo, along with Billy Bob Thornton.  The new Fargo show will be a limited series to begin with, running for 10 weeks


Martin Freeman will play Lester Nygaard, a small-town insurance salesman who is consistently henpecked by his nagging wife, and then finds his life changed when the mysterious Lorne Malvo (Thornton) comes to town. Although FX’s version will not follow the same events of the popular 1996 film, the description of Freeman’s character sounds similar to William H. Macy’s character Jerry Lundegaard in the original.


FX’s Fargo will be produced by the Coen brothers, and will follow an all-new story, featuring brand new characters but retaining the trademark dark humor, murders and Minnesota locations that made the 1996 film such a classic. FX president John Landgraf has said that Fargo will also have a young female deputy character, in homage to Frances McDormand’s character from the original. However, the characters from the first 10 episodes won’t carry over to a second season, of there is one.


“It’s hard to describe how remarkably true to the film it is,” said Landgraf. “I think people are going to be entranced with that show. We’ve invented a new version of Fargo that’s its own thing, but that’s true to the spirit of the original.”


This week, comic actor Bob Odenkirk signed on to play Deputy Bill Olson, a Bemidji deputy with seniority over his younger and smarter fellow deputy, Molly Solverson, played by Allison Tolman. Other cast members include Oliver Platt, Kate Walsh and Glenn Howerton. Platt will play the “Supermarket King of Minnesota.” Kate Walsh (Private Practice) will play a former stripper and mother of teenaged twin boys. Howerton (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia) will play a ambitious personal trainer.

The 10-episode limited series begins filming in November in Calgary, with a planned spring debut on FX.