FX LANDS OSCAR(R) WINNER BILLY BOB THORNTON FOR LEAD IN "FARGO"
Thornton to Star as "Lorne Malvo" in the 10-Part Limited Series of the
Adaptation of the Classic Award-Winning Feature Film of the Same Title
Limited Series Adapted for Television by Novelist/Writer Noah Hawley
Joel & Ethan Coen, Noah Hawley, Warren Littlefield,
and Geyer Kosinski are Executive Producers
FX Productions and MGM Television to Produce 10 Episodes
Production Begins this Fall with the Series Slated to Premiere Spring 2014
BEVERLY HILLS, August 2, 2013 - Academy Award(R) winning writer/producer and Academy Award and Golden Globe(R) Award nominated actor Billy Bob Thornton has signed on to star in the FX limited series Fargo, an adaptation of the classic Academy Award winning feature film of the same title by Joel & Ethan Coen, it was announced today by John Landgraf, CEO of FX Networks and FX Productions. Production begins this fall in Canada and the series is slated to premiere next spring on FX.
Thornton will play "Lorne Malvo," a rootless, manipulative man who meets a small town insurance salesman and sets him on a path of destruction.
Thornton won the Academy Award for Outstanding Screenplay for Sling Blade, for which he also was nominated for Best Supporting Actor, and he was also nominated for Best Supporting Actor for A Simple Plan. He has four Golden Globe acting nominations for The Man Who Wasn't There, A Simple Plan, Bandits, and Bad Santa.
A 10-episode limited series inspired by the film, FX's Fargo will feature an all-new "true crime" story, with the series following a new case and new characters, all entrenched in the trademark humor, murder and "Minnesota nice" that has made the film an enduring classic. Fargo is written by Noah Hawley. Executive Producers are Joel & Ethan Coen, Warren Littlefield, and Geyer Kosinski. Fargo is produced by FX Productions and MGM Television.
MGM Television will handle worldwide distribution of the series outside of the U.S. and Canada.
Fargo, released in 1996, was nominated for seven Academy Awards(R) and won for Best Original Screenplay for Joel & Ethan Coen and Best Actress for Frances McDormand. It was named as one of the 100 Greatest American Movies by the American Film Institute. A wildly unique blend of comedy, drama and thriller, the film starred Frances McDormand as a pregnant Minnesota police chief pursuing two bumbling criminals hired by a car salesman to kidnap his wife.
Emmy Award-winning director Adam Bernstein (30 Rock) will direct the premiere hour Fargo. An Emmy-winner for his work on 30 Rock, Adam Bernstein is a veteran television director whose credits also include Breaking Bad, House of Lies, Californication, Nurse Jackie, United States of Tara, Scrubs, Bored to Death and Rescue Me. Bernstein will also serve as executive producer on the premiere episode.
Last year, FX announced that it would be producing miniseries and limited series through FX Productions. The network has had tremendous success with traditional drama series, with most of its dramas running seven seasons. By entering the limited series business, FX can produce dramatic programs that have shorter runs - one, two or three seasons - and offer talented filmmakers more freedom.
FX Productions is also in production on the limited series Wayward Pines for FOX. A limited series from M. Night Shyamalan, Wayward Pines stars Matt Dillon and Carla Gugino. It begins production in August in Vancouver and is slated to premiere in summer of 2014.
Launched in June of 1994, FX is the flagship general entertainment basic cable channel, which is carried in more than 98 million homes. Its diverse schedule features a growing roster of critically-acclaimed and award-winning hit dramas, including Sons of Anarchy, Justified, The Americans, and critically acclaimed new drama The Bridge; the miniseries American Horror Story; and the acclaimed hit comedy series Louie, Archer and Wilfred. Its library of acquired box-office hit movies is unmatched by any commercial television network. FX's roster of acquired hit series includes Two and a Half Men, Anger Management and, coming in 2014, Mike & Molly. FX is a unit of FX Networks, a business unit of 21 Century Fox, which is comprised of FX, FXM, and its newest channel, FXX, which launches on September 2, 2013. Over the next several years, FX, FXX and FXM will undergo an ambitious programming expansion, with the three networks combining to deliver more than 25 original scripted series.
About Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc.
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. is a leading entertainment company focused on the production and distribution of film and television content globally. The company owns one of the world's deepest libraries of premium film and television content. In addition, MGM has investments in domestic and international television channels. For more information, visit www.mgm.com.
About FX Productions
FX Productions produces the critically acclaimed hit comedy series It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, The League, Louie, Archer, Wilfred, and Legit, and the late night series Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell. FXP co-produces the award-winning hit drama series Sons of Anarchy and Justified, the critically acclaimed drama The Americans, and the critically acclaimed new drama series The Bridge. FXP currently has production output deals in place with RCG Productions, the production company of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia Executive Producer/Showrunners Rob McElhenney, Charlie Day and Glenn Howerton, and Floyd County Productions, the production company of Archer Executive Producer/Showrunners Adam Reed and Matt Thompson. FXP recently announced a cable exclusive, first-look pact with Nina Jacobson, Brad Simpson and their Color Force production company, producers of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid feature franchise and The Hunger Games. It was the first POD deal for FX Productions that was not established through a prior existing relationship with the studio. FXP has a first-look cable deal with Paul Giamatti, Dan Carey and their production company, Touchy Feely Films. FXP is also producing limited series and miniseries for FX and FOX.