Fargo as a TV series? You betcha. Joel and Ethan Coen are reportedly executive producing an adaptation of their Academy Award-winning movie for the network that brought us Sons of Anarchy, Justified, and American Horror Story.
This new project isn’t the first attempt to bring Fargo to the small screen — a Coen-free pilot for a Fargo TV series was filmed in 1997 and ultimately aired as part of a special in 2003. The first televised Fargo starred Edie Falco as Marge Gunderson, the pregnant police officer immortalized by Frances McDormand in the film — and if it were still 1997, I think Falco would be an excellent choice to strap on Marge’s fake belly for this new show as well.
But since Falco and McDormand are both a little too old to credibly play pregnant — and because William H. Macy and Steve Buscemi are a little busy with movie careers and cable series — which actors could step into their snowboots for this new Fargo? Well, now that United States of Tara is over, Toni Collette might be available to play Marge; her unconventional looks and Emmy-winning acting chops would make her a good fit for the role. I’d also like to see what Kristen Wiig would do with the part. Yes, suggesting an SNL star for a role in a Coen brothers adaptation sounds a little crazy, but hear me out: Wiig is around the same age McDormand was when she starred in the original Fargo. She’d easily be able to get Marge’s voice down, and she could also tap into the absurd humor that made the film so much more than a typical crime movie.
The roles of Jerry Lundegaard (originally played by Macy), Carl Showalter (Buscemi), and Gaear Grimsrud (Peter Stormare), though, are a little harder to cast. Who can do “sad sack in over his head” like Macy, or imitate two of film’s most iconic criminals? Then again, these characters may not even appear in the TV show; the New York Times makes Falco’s Fargo sound like a police procedural, meaning that the kidnapping and murders at the center of the film might not occur in this new adaptation.
But just for fun, let’s assume Jerry, Carl, and Gaear are part of the FX show. Who would you pick to play them? And are you on board with either of my Marge suggestions — or do you have any other names in mind? And saying, “This is a terrible idea, they shouldn’t turn Fargo into a TV series!” doesn’t count as contributing.