LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Filmmaking brothers Joel and Ethan Coen will be adapting their Oscar-winning 1996 film "Fargo" into a television series for Fox's FX network, with actor Billy Bob Thornton in the lead role, the network said on Friday.
"Fargo," a black comedy of crime in a rural Midwestern town starring Frances McDormand and William H. Macy, is the inspiration for a 10-episode miniseries, FX said in a statement. The Coens will be executive producers.
Oscar-winning actor Thornton, 57, will play Lorne Malvo, a character described by FX as "a rootless, manipulative man who meets a small town insurance salesman and sets him on a path of destruction." New characters and a new case will be introduced in the dark comedy.
The show will be filmed in Canada, and the series is expected to premiere on the basic cable channel in spring 2014.
The 1996 film won Oscars in the best actress category, and best screenplay for the Coen brothers. The film was included in the American Film Institute's 100 Greatest American Movies list, and inducted into the U.S. National Film Registry in 2006.
FX's "Fargo" is the first major television project for the Coen brothers, who have made their name in the film industry with movies such as "The Big Lebowski," "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" and 2007's Oscar-winning "No Country for Old Men."
"Fargo" is part of FX's initiative to produce more miniseries and limited series through its production brand. It will join the network's roster alongside upcoming series "Wayward Pines," from director M. Night Shyamalan, starring Matt Dillon.
FX Networks, a unit of 21st Century Fox, has become a home for critically acclaimed shows spanning drama and comedy, such as "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia," "Sons of Anarchy" and Ryan Murphy's Emmy-nominated series "American Horror Story."
(Reporting by Piya Sinha-Roy; editing by Mary Milliken and Jackie Frank)