'Sherlock' star will take on the role played by William H Macy in the Coen Brothers' 1996 film

Martin Freeman is to star opposite Billy Bob Thornton in the forthcoming Fargo TV series.

The Sherlock actor has landed a role based on William H Macy‘s in the original 1996 film, The Hollywood Reporter reveals. He’ll play a a slightly hopeless local insurance salesman, henpecked by his wife, whose life is transformed when a mysterious and manipulative stranger arrives in town. Thornton will co-star as the intoxicating stranger in a role similar to the one first played by Steve Buscemi.

The TV series is inspired by the Coen Brothers‘ classic black comedy film, but will introduce new characters and revolve around a different crime story. Alongside Macy and Buscemi, the film also starred Frances McDormand, who won an Oscar for her role as a pregnant sheriff in the sleepy North Dakota town of Fargo.

Noah Hawley, a former writer-producer on Bones, is scripting the 10-part series in addition to serving as an executive producer. Joel and Ethan Coen are also on board as executive producers.

Shooting is due to start in Calgary, Canada next month (October) and the series will launch next spring (2014) on US cable network FX. In the meantime, Freeman be seen in season three of Sherlock, which is due to air on BBC One later this year.