|By Amy Carlson Gustafson, Pioneer Press, St. Paul, Minn.|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
Worries were eased a bit with the Coen brothers giving FX their blessing. And luckily, the network wasn't looking for a carbon copy of the film or even a spinoff featuring one of its characters.
"They said, 'Do you think we can do it without Marge?' By which they meant without any of the characters in the movie," said writer
AN A-LIST CAST
A 10-episode limited series, "Fargo" premieres Tuesday (
Hawley kept the tone, sense of place and mixture of violence and humor similar to those in the film. The accents are back as well as regional colloquialisms. There's the sad, eerie music and desolate snowy landscape that looks so cold it'll have you reaching for a sweater. Special attention is paid to the littlest of details -- like a mallard salt and pepper shaker holder and stuffed pheasant mounted on the wall at the local diner. There's also the use of a hockey stick as a weapon.
Gone are Marge, played by
Instead, the television version of "Fargo" features a new cast of characters and a fresh "true crime" story set in
"I had the idea very early on for just this moment in the emergency room between two men, one of whom is a civilized man and the other who is very much the opposite," Hawley said. "I knew the civilized man was an insurance salesman who was bullied by his wife and everyone around, but who was the other guy?"
The civilized man is
"What really attracted me to it was not as much as he didn't have a conscience, was he has this bizarre sense of humor where he likes to mess with people," Thornton said.
When he was coming up in the acting world, Thornton said, television was considered a bad word. But thanks to the increasing quality of TV shows over the past decade (especially on cable), that has changed.
"Now, it has a cachet, and actors are clamoring to get on television because it's a place that we can do the things we were doing in movies," Thornton said. "There's a spot that television is filling that the movie business is not, which is the medium-budget studio movies."