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Crystal Dey, Forum News Service, Published October 17 2013

Bemidji goes Hollywood in ‘Fargo’

BEMIDJI, Minn. – Murder, mayhem and really bad Minnesota accents brought national attention to the Midwest 17 years ago in the movie “Fargo.” The plot doth thicken don’t ya know – FX will be releasing a “Fargo” television series in 2014.

In 1996, Joel and Ethan Coen set the scene in Fargo, N.D. A lesser-known attempt at revitalizing the comedy-crime-drama popped up in 2003 set in Brainerd. What’s new in 2014? Bemidji.

Bob Odenkirk of “Breaking Bad” has been cast as Bill Olson, a Bemidji sheriff’s deputy. Allison Tolman will be playing Molly Solverson, a deputy serving under Olson.

While the backdrop location of the storyline has not been revealed, Oliver Platt will be playing Stavros Milos, the Supermarket King of Minnesota. Shooting begins in Calgary, Alberta, later this month.

Beltrami County Sheriff Phil Hodapp said the series is news to him. FX has not yet reached out to the sheriff’s office for consultation. Hodapp doesn’t think Brainerd was contacted prior to the 1996 movie, and he doesn’t anticipate any calls.

“It’s all Hollywood,” Hodapp said. “It’ll be interesting to see how they do it.”

Hodapp saw the original “Fargo” movie. In his opinion, it portrayed Minnesotans as silly, dumb Norwegians. He said he doesn’t want to speculate on the Coens’ new project.

The 10-episode limited series follows different characters and cases than the first movie. The Coens have come back to serve as executive producers along with Warren Littlefield and Geyer Kosinski. Adam Bernstein will direct the premiere episode. The 2003 version was directed by Kathy Bates.

Additional cast members include: Billy Bob Thornton, Martin Freeman, Collin Hanks, Kate Walsh, Joey King, Josh Close, Glenn Howerton, Peter Breitmayer, Tom Musgrave, Russell Harvard and Adam Goldberg.