At the 2017 TCA summer press tour, FX CEO John Landgraf told journalists that he was hopeful for a Fargo Season 4, but there hadn’t been any movement on it yet. Creator Noah Hawley has certainly been busy since then, not only with his FX series Legion, but also his film Pale Blue Dot. In March of 2018, though, we got an update — Fargo Season 4 was happening, but it likely wouldn’t return until 2019 or beyond. As Hawley explained at the time that Fargo was a winter show (and would need to film then), but also, “I feel like the only reason to keep telling the story is if I feel I have something more to say about the American experience, really. Through the credence of a crime show, you know, we’re able to look at things that are very specific to this country.”
So here we are at the 2018 TCA summer press tour, and Landgraf is back with a lot more info. For one, Fargo Season 4 will star Chris Rock. And two, it will take place in 1950. More specifically:
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, Missouri, two criminal syndicates have struck an uneasy peace. One Italian, one African American. Together they control an alternate economy — that of exploitation, graft and drugs. This too is the history of America. To cement their peace, the heads of both families have traded their eldest sons.
Chris Rock plays 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.
This sounds both familiar and something refreshingly different for the show to take on. For his part, Rock commented briefly that “I’m a fan of Fargo and I can’t wait to work with Noah.” There’s not much more to be said, really, since production won’t be slated to start until 2019, and we may not see the series until later that year or beyond.
The Fargo anthology has been a hit for FX, especially during awards season, as it has attracted A-list talent to its short seasons. It’s also been interesting how each season has found a different set of fans — those who didn’t like Season 1 loved Season 2 (and vice versa), and opinions were extremely divided over Season 3. So what Season 4 will bring remains to be seen. Still, it’s an interesting premise with ties to the second season of the anthology, and a time frame what will surely play to Hawley’s strengths when it comes to aesthetic precision.