A lot has been said about the Coen Brother’s cinematic masterpiece Fargo, but FX’s TV adaptation is now getting all the attention. If you enjoyed either of them, we invite you to keep reading and find out 15 fun facts about both productions. Stay tuned for part two, coming very soon!
Number Fifteen: It Was Almost a Show in the ‘90s
11 years before FX’s Fargo came out, Kathy Bates had already attempted to turn the Coens’ cult classic into a TV series. She directed a pilot episode starring Edie Falco, which was sent to all major networks. None of them picked it up.
Number Fourteen: There’s a Movie about a Woman Who Tried to Locate the Briefcase
Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter, which came out to critical acclaim in 2014, tells the story of a jaded Japanese woman who travels all the way from Tokyo to Fargo just to find the suitcase Steve Buscemi buried in the snow. The story is based on an actual urban legend: Takako Konishi, who was found dead in Minnesota in 2001, was rumored to have frozen to death trying to locate the suitcase from the movie, believing it to be a real story. Investigators later concluded that she actually just committed suicide due to severe depression.
Number Thirteen: The Movie Got Some Midwest Backlash
Citizens of Minnesota and North Dakota did not quite enjoy the Coens’ movie. In particular, they seemed to detest the over-exaggerated accent spoken in the film. Fargo’s mayor at the time commented: “It’s a movie that people who don’t live here seem to enjoy, but for us it’s a little bit of an embarrassment.” The Coen brothers are Minnesotan themselves.
Number Twelve: It’s Not a Real Story
Both the movie and the TV show begin with a text that reads: “This is a true story. The events depicted in this film took place in Minnesota in 2006 (1979 for the movie). At the request of the survivors, the names have been changed. Out of respect for the dead, the rest has been told exactly as it occurred.” The film’s original script reveals the truth, as it starts with the following text: “[the film] aims to be both homey and exotic, and pretends to be true.” The story from the show’s first season was also made up.
Number Eleven: The Second Season Is a Prequel to the First
Both the movie and the series take place in the same universe, as confirmed by writer Noah Hawley and director Randall Einhorn. In addition, the show’s second season acts as a sort of prequel to the first, expanding on Solverson’s family story.
Number Ten: The Wood-Chipper from the Movie is at a Museum
Minnesotans must have made peace with the movie after all since they took the wood-chipper used by the Coen brothers and put it on permanent display at the Fargo-Moorhead Visitors Center. Visitors can take a picture standing next to both the real prop and a replica.
Number Nine: The Show Wasn’t Filmed in Fargo
FX’s Fargo was entirely filmed in Alberta, Canada, in order for producers to benefit from Canada’s Film Production Services Tax Credit. In addition, the Coens only shot a few sequences in the little city. Most of the scenes were filmed in other areas of Minnesota and North Dakota.
Number Eight: Much of the Snow in the Movie Was Fake
The Coens picked the worst possible time to film in Minnesota. The team waited for months for it to snow in the area to shoot the opening sequence. When it finally snowed, it turned out to be quite disappointing, since 1996 was the warmest year in Minnesota in a hundred years. Eventually, they had to resort to distributing fake snow on the set. Interestingly enough, Kumiko’s director David Zellner faced the same exact problem and had to wait a whole year to start shooting. Stay tuned for part two, coming soon!