Billy Bob Thornton to star in ‘Fargo’ TV series

'Sling Blade' actor cast in lead role in TV version of Joel and Ethan Coen's Oscar-winning movie

Billy Bob Thornton has been cast to star in a lead role in the Fargo TV miniseries.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the ‘Sling Blade’ actor will play Lorne Malvo, a ruthless manipulator who meets a small-town insurance salesman and leads him down a path of destruction. The role is said to be similar to the one Steve Buscemi played in the 1996 film.

The 10-episode miniseries will air on US channel FX and is written by Noah Hawley, a former writer-producer on Bones. Joel and Ethan Coen, who won a screenwriting Oscar for Fargo, will serve as the show’s executive producers.

The Coen brothers wrote, directed and produced the 1996 crime film that the miniseries is based on. The movie starred Frances McDormand as a pregnant sheriff in a sleepy North Dakota town and William H Macy as a car salesman who hatches an ill-fated plan to have his wife kidnapped.

The film was a major critical success for the filmmaking duo, who won the Best Director prize when they took it to the Cannes Film Festival and an Oscar for their screenplay. McDormand won the film’s second Oscar for her performance as the sheriff.

Meanwhile, the Coen Brothers are preparing to release Inside Llewyn Davis, the tale of a singer-songwriter trying to make it on the folk scene in 1960s New York. The film stars Oscar Isaac, Justin Timberlake and Carey Mulligan and is scheduled to open this December (2013).