Winter is coming to 1979.
One of the bigger announcements to come out of FX's session Monday at the Television Critics Assn. press tour in Beverly Hills was the renewal of critically acclaimed, multiple-Emmy nominated "Fargo" for a second season.
And the drama's executive producers Noah Hawley and Warren Littlefield wasted little time in breaking their silence about what's ahead, appearing before reporters to cap off the network's day of show panels.
So what can we tell you? The second season will tell the story of Sioux Falls circa 1979--and there will be some traveling over the 10-episode second outing.
"If you were paying attention in Season One, you know we made a lot of references to Sioux Falls and that was deliberate; that wasn’t an accident,” Hawley said. “So, what this next 10-hour movie is going to be is the story of Sioux Falls. The movie will take place in 1979 … with the story set mostly in Luverne, Minn., in Fargo and, of course, in Sioux Falls as well.”
The focus will turn to a young Lou Solverson, who is the diner owner/ father of Bemidji police officer Molly in Season One, played by Keith Carradine. The second season travels back to meet him when he is 33 and just returning from Vietnam.
"That time period was really interesting in American history," Hawley said. "I mean, post-Vietnam, post Watergate, just before Ronald Reagan became President...There was that sense, I think, that this war had come home with people, and the sort of violence and brutality of it. So the idea that perhaps Lou Solverson went to Vietnam and he fought and he came home and he thought that he had left the war behind, but now he’s come back, and here it is. It’s domestic now."
Viewers will meet Solverson's wife, as well as her father. And, yes, there will be Molly. Just not the Molly viewers have come to admire in actress Allison Tolman.
“I spoke to Allison Tolman this morning and told her that unless she could channel her 4-year-old self, we weren’t going to be able to have her in Season Two, which is a crime and a tragedy and you should all be very angry at us for doing that,” Hawley said. “I would like nothing more than to see the continuing adventures of Molly and [Colin Hanks'] Gus, but it felt like it would just be disingenuous in the service of truthiness to give them another Coen brothers case.”
And while star power has increasingly become something to boast about, thanks to such programs as "American Horror Story," "True Detective" and "Fargo," whose first season featured heavy hitters Billy Bob Thornton and Martin Freeman, Littlefield said while that's all well and nice, sometimes the fun is in making the stars.
“Getting Billy Bob to sign on to play Lorne Malvo gave us a credibility that we really deserved to play in a Coen world,” Littlefield said, but “one of the great things about television is that you get to make stars [such as Tolman]."
He continued: "I think a lot of people are going to want to play in the ‘Fargo’ sandbox in Season Two and we’ll look at the best possible talent that can play the characters that Noah comes up with. They might be household names, but we’re in a world where anyone, any level — Academy Award winners — are opting in for television and we only ask for a 10-hour commitment.”
The snow shoes will hit the slush when production on Season 2 begins in January in Calgary, Canada. The season is expected to roll out in late 2015.
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