Billy Bob Thornton to star in new 'Fargo' TV series

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FX Networks announced Friday that acclaimed actor Billy Bob Thornton will star in the television series inspired by Joel and Ethan Coen's crime caper "Fargo," the Los Angeles Times reports.

FX's CEO John Landgraf said "Fargo" will be a 10-part limited series and will not feature any of the characters from the original 1996 movie.

However, according to a FX press release, the series will feature "the trademark humor, murder and 'Minnesota nice' that made the film an endearing classic."

In the all-new "Fargo" crime story, Thornton will play the character of Lorne Malvo, who is described as "a rootless, manipulative man who meets a small-town insurance salesman and sets him on a path of destruction."

The Minnesota-born Coen brothers are among the executive producers on the series.

According to IGN, Landgraf said the Coens looked at the original script for the show, and made about a half-dozen pages of suggestions.

Otherwise, Landgraf said, the Coens thought writer Noah Hawley "had nailed the tone of the original film."

Thornton won a Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar for the crime drama "Sling Blade" in 1996, ironically in the same year the Coens won a Best Original Screenplay Oscar for "Fargo."

"Fargo" also earned Frances McDormand a Best Actress Oscar for playing the very-pregnant Brainerd Sheriff Marge Gunderson.

Thornton has been nominated for two Oscars -- for Best Actor for "Sling Blade," and for Best Supporting Actor for the 1998 Minnesota-made crime drama "A Simple Plan," largely shot in Delano.

"Fargo" the television series is expected to premiere on FX next spring.

Unlike the film version, which was filmed in North Dakota and mainly in Minnesota, the "Fargo" television series will be shot in Canada.

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