With production on FX Network's Fargo set to begin on October 15 in Chicago, writer-director Noah Hawley is offering an update on the Chris Rock-starring fourth season of the Emmy award-winning anthology series. During an interview with Collider in support of feature film Lucy in the Sky, Hawley was asked about the scope of the new storyline:
"The cast is incredible. I would say it's twice the size of any story we've told, both financially and the scope of it, the scale of it, the period of it. There's no reason to do this again unless I think it could be the best one yet."
With the season set at 10 episodes, reports that half have been written – putting it pretty much on pace with previous seasons… and because Hawley has more than earned a little rest and relaxation:
"The first year I had eight out of ten [scripts], the second year I had probably six out ten. This year I'm in the five range. Some of it is just one thing to another thing to another thing. I took a vacation because I think I deserved a vacation. Then I came back and I'm directing the first block so in a perfect world I would be writing scripts but instead, I'm prepping the show. But we mapped everything out. I know the journey and the writing process for me is not a belabored, lengthy one so I'm not worried about it yet."
Also joining the cast for the fourth season of Fargo are Timothy Olyphant (Dick "Deafy" Wickware) Uzo Aduba (Zelmare Roulette), Jessie Buckley (Oraetta Mayflower), Salvatore Esposito (Gaetano Fadda), Andrew Bird (Thurman Smutney), Jeremie Harris (Leon Bittle), Gaetano Bruon (Constant Calamita), Anji White (Dibrell Smutney), Francesco Acquaroli (Ebal Violante), Emyri Crutchfield (Ethelrida Pearl Smutney), Amber Midthunder (Swanee Capps), Jack Huston (Odis Weff), Jason Schwartzman (Josto Fadda), Ben Whishaw (Rabbi Milligan), Glynn Turman (Doctor Senator), Corey Hendrix (The Chi), and newcomer Matthew Elam.
Hawley returns as showrunner, writer and director. Joel & Ethan Coen, Warren Littlefield, and John Cameron have also served as executive producers – with production handled by MGM Television and FX Productions.
In 1950, at the end of two great American migrations — that of Southern Europeans from countries like Italy, who came to the US at the turn of the last century and settled in northern cities like New York, Chicago — and African Americans who left the south in great numbers to escape Jim Crow and moved to those same cities — you saw a collision of outsiders, all fighting for a piece of the American dream. In Kansas City, two criminal syndicates — one Italian, led by Donatello Fadda, one African American, led by Loy Cannon (Rock) — have struck an uneasy peace, which the heads of both families have cemented by trading their youngest sons.Together they control an alternate economy — that of exploitation, graft and drugs. This too is the history of America.
Cannon is the head of one family, a man who — in order to prosper — has surrendered his oldest boy to his enemy, and who must in turn raise his son's enemy as his own. It's an uneasy peace, but profitable. And then the head of the Kansas City mafia goes into the hospital for routine surgery and dies. And everything changes.
It's a story of immigration and assimilation, and the things we do for money. And as always, a story of basically decent people who are probably in over their heads. You know, Fargo.
"I don't. It's a big challenge, every one of these — to come up with both a crime to hang it on and a large cast of characters on a collision course — each has to be new and interesting and have a different point of view. But we are exploring certain archetypes that are inescapable on a moral spectrum: There always has to be a Marge and a Jerry and a [Steve] Buscemi and a Peter Stormare, those kinds of pure good and pure evil and moral challenges in the middle. At a certain point, you don't want to repeat yourself, so the question becomes: 'What's left to say? What's interesting to say?'"