The second season of FX’s Fargo will take place in Sioux Falls, S.D., in 1979, creator Noah Hawley said this afternoon at the TCA Summer Press Tour. “If you were paying attention to Season 1, we made a lot of references to Sioux Falls,” he said told TV critics. Some of the second season also will take place in Luverne, Minn.
The season will be a prequel of sorts, in that the Lou Solverson character, played in Season 1 by Keith Carradine, will be back, only this time he’ll be just 33 years old and recently back from Vietnam. “That time period is interesting — post-Vietnam, post-Watergate … the best of America versus worst,” Hawley said. “That sense, I think, that this war had come home with people, and the violence and brutality of it.”Lou Salverson went to Vietnam and came home, but now he’s come back and it’s here — it’s domestic.”
And while he said he would like nothing more than to see the continuing adventures of Molly and Gus, “I felt it would be disingenuous,” Hawly said of Deputy Molly Solverson (Allison Tolman) and Officer Gus Grimly (Colin Hanks). Molly’s mom will be featured in Season 2 but will not be played by Tolman, despite urgings of several TV critics. “She should be in everything anybody ever made, as far as I’m concerned,” Hawley said. But he added that the idea of casting Tolman to play her character’s mother “seems a little gimmicky to me, and like cheating.” Using the same actors in different roles each season is “a brilliant turn on Ryan’s part, and he owns it — it would be imitative,” Hawley said of Ryan Murphy’s American Horror Story, with its practice of bringing back actors in different roles each season.
“I am excited to spend some time with Molly’s mom,” Hawley said. Molly, actually will be in the second season — she will be 4 years old. “Nothing is more fun than working with very young children on a set,” he joked.
Asked what will be the name of the franchise’s second season, Hawley speculated Fargo: Backlash.
The second season, like the first, will be shot in and around Calgary. “We have quite a large area in and around Calgary to explore, so we will find our Sioux Falls there,” EP Warren Littlefield said.
Earlier in the day, FX Networks CEO John Landgraf announced he’d ordered a second, 10-episode season of the series spinoff of the Coen brothers’ 1996 film. Not surprisingly, the pickup came not long after the first season earned 18 Emmy nominations – the most for a single program in FX history. Landgraf reiterated that the second season of his Fargo miniseries franchise would, as promised originally, have a new cast of characters, a different crime story, a different time setting, and new crop of actors. “Fargo demands a different level of realism, and we felt we couldn’t introduce these actors as new characters,” he said.
At his morning session. Landgraf said he wasn’t so sure the next season needed a star of Billy Bob Thornton’s stature. Littlefield disagreed — sort of.
“We had material we were wildly excited about, and so were our partners at MGM and FX,” he said of Season 1. “But we had to go out in creative community and make it, and getting Billy Bob to sign on to play Lorne Malvo gave us a credibility that we deserved to play in a Coen world. And then he came and delivered.”
Said Littlefield, who worked many years as a development exec at NBC, including a stint as president of NBC Entertainment, “One of the great things about television is you get to make stars.” He forecast that a lot of people will want to “play in the Fargo sandbox” for Season 2, noting that film actors these days “are all opting in for television, and we only ask for a 10-hour commitment. … So, possibly we will get some big-name stars but also don’t feel obligated.”
He added: “Our most important element to our DNA is tone. That, ultimately, will be more important than the time of year and exact town and characters.”