Billy Bob Thornton to Play the Lead in FX Fargo Adaptation

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Billy Bob Thornton has signed on to star in the FX limited series “Fargo,” an adaptation of the 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. Emmy Award-winning director Adam Bernstein (“30 Rock”) will direct the premiere hour.

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® 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.

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