Fargo Creator Noah Hawley sat down with House of Cards‘ Beau Willimon on Day 2 of the ATX Television Festival in Austin, mainly to talk about his bestselling book Before I Fall, about a mysterious plane crash and the events that follow. But not surprisingly it seemed like the audience was more interested in talking and his hit FX series. The Q&A session mostly consisted of Fargo questions. One that got a big laugh was when an attendee asked, “What’s up with the UFO?” To which Hawley quipped, “What was the deal with the fish falling from the sky in the first year? I mean, these things happen.”
He explained that it was “part of the moment, both the sort of political paranoia and the conspiracy to go all the way to the top … that sense of people being paranoid on some level. And obviously it was after Close Encounters [of the Third Kind], which was set in the ’70s. If you look at the Internet research, there was a state trooper UFO incident in Minnesota in the ’70s which I thought was interesting. Joel and Ethan [Coen] had included some of those visuals in The Man Who Wasn’t There.” He maintained, “The world of Fargo needs those elements, those random, odd, stranger-than-fiction elements.”
He also touched on his upcoming project for FX, Legion, which follows David Haller, the son of X-Men founder Charles Xavier. “I’ve always been attracted to genre,” Hawley said. He divulged that what intrigued him about X-Men was “they were the kids who didn’t fit it and they were the outsider. … It is more interesting to explore the existential question of what it is like to be different.”
Asked whether he felt pressure with this comic book adaptation, Hawley said: “Anytime you approach a sacred text, you have to be nervous about it and that could be paralyzing. I can never control how people will react to the work but my hope is if I treat the work with the same respect as I treated Joel and Ethan’s movie that it will be OK.”
Season 3 of Fargo will air in 2017. Legion bows early next year.