'Fargo' Season 3 to Embrace the Modern Era, Focus on Fewer Characters

FARGO -Rhinoceros-Patrick Wilson -Jesse Plemons-Cristin Milioti -H 2016
Chris Large/FX

The end of Fargo's rather long hiatus is in sight.

More than a year after the FX anthology wrapped its second installment, production finally picked back up on the frigid Calgary, Alberta, shoot at the top of the year. Its new cast did not much have time to settle, however. The actors and executive producer Warren Littlefield met with reporters Thursday afternoon at the Television Critics Association's winter press tour in Pasadena to tease out what information they could about the critically adored drama and its often twisted wit.

"I am doing the Fargo-y accent," said star Ewan McGregor of the thick North Dakota-Minnesota region's patois. "I've had the chance to put both [character] brothers on camera now. The challenge is to master that accent, which is very quite difficult. It's the hardest accent I've ever done. And I did Dutch once. This is worse."

Fargo has only been filming for four days, but quite a bit seemed to get done in that time. FX kicked off the panel with a hush-hush reel of early footage, showing McGregor (as both of the strikingly different brothers), Carrie Coon, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, David Thewlis and Michael Stuhlbarg in their new characters.

Showrunner Noah Hawley, who'd been on hand earlier on Thursday to promote Legion, went home feeling under the weather prior to the panel, leaving Littlefield to describe this latest iteration. Unlike the second season, this one is not a period piece. It has been described as even more in the present than the first season, which had a bit of an amorphous time period, and that means that there will be iPhones.

"I'm going to try and channel a little bit of Noah," said Littlefield, noting that there would be moments in season three that connect to the previous two."Noah is going to have a lot of fun embracing and commenting on the world today."

Connections to past iterations, particularly the first season, will be limited. When one reporter asked Littlefield if there'd be any cameos from season one actors, he was guarded but did not sound terribly optimistic. "It's a big region," he said. "I think the important thing about year three is intimacy. We're a smaller cast. And it allows us to go deeper with each of these characters. Noah does not want to repeat himself."

Of the new characters, Coon's seems the most familiar. She compared her alter ego, Sheriff Gloria Burgle, to the cop played by Frances McDormand in the original 1994 Coen brothers film. "She really represents a small-town aesthetic that she feels has been eroded by forces outside of herself," the actress said, noting that her personal life is not in as good as shape as the franchise's past heroes.

When talk turned to the Coen brothers, who on Tuesday announced plans to move into television themselves, Littlefield said the door is always open for them to come collaborate on the show — be it in the writers' room or the director's chair. "They've always been given open arms," he said. "So far it hasn't happened, but how wonderful would that be?"

Earlier on Thursday, FX chief John Landgraf said that Fargo will return in late April, but there's still no official premiere date.