Posted on Monday, September 24th, 2012 by Germain Lussier
The classic Marge Gunderson quote “I just think I’m gonna barf” might comes to mind when you hear that FX has begun adapting the classic Coen Brothers film Fargo for television. But don’t go tossing your cookies just yet. While the idea was already attempted ten years ago without the Coen’s blessing both Joel and Ethan Coen will be executive producing this version of the show, an hour long project “loosely based” on the film written by Noah Hawley (My Generation, The Unusuals). Read more after the break.
Released in 1996, the comedic crime caper Fargo was a critical smash, winning two Oscars and still remains one of the most revered and influential films of the Nineties. The film’s unmistakable accents and cold, Northern setting were an instant trademark and obviously ripe for further exploration. And that’s exactly what happened in 2003 with a show starring Edie Falco in the lead. Kathy Bates directed. It didn’t get picked up.
According to Deadline, MGM owns the rights to the film and didn’t have to get the Coens’ blessing but, of course, it means everything that they did. The network – FX – also speaks volumes. It’s the network that brought us the brutality of The Shield and Nip/Tuck, the awkward humor of Wilfred and Louie and current hits like Sons of Anarchy and American Horror Story. They put out quality products and know how to handle oddities.
Not to mention, MGM recently turned an old film franchise into a successful show without bastardizing the original. It’s called Teen Wolf and is on MTV. I’ve never seen it, but its existence doesn’t ruin van surfing with Styles, does it?
One of the many things that made Fargo so great, though, was that it’s so specific to a time and place. There aren’t a lot of characters, so each is well-developed or at least well-defined. The story is tight, contained and well thought out where you never needed to go beyond its boundaries to be satisfied. Still you always wanted to know more about people with that accent, didn’t you?
I’m going to hold out ultimate judgement on this until we learn more about its story, tone and cast. After all, it’s still only being developed. What do you think about the idea?