FX CEO John Landgraf and Fargo executive producer and writer Noah Hawley spoke about Season 2 of the show Monday at the Television Critics Association Summer 2014 Press Tour.
The two spoke about changes for the upcoming season, including a new cast. Hawley explained the setting will primarily be North Dakota in 1979 and follow a younger Lou Solverson and his now 4-year-old daughter Molly (who was played by Allison Tolman in Season 1).
“The time period was really interesting in American history,” Hawley said, according to the New York Daily News. “I mean, post-Vietnam, post-Watergate, just before Ronald Regan became president… There was that sense, I think, that this war had come home with people, and the sort of violence and brutality of it. So the idea that perhaps Lou Solverson went to Vietnam and he fought and he came home, and he thought that he had left the war behind, but now he’s come back and here it is. It’s domestic now.”
While Hawley clearly has a vision for the season, losing key characters from Season 1 wasn’t easy.
“It was heartbreaking from my standpoint because I loved the characters,” Landgraf explained. “But I don’t think we felt that we could reincarnate these actors as new characters.”
Hawley said he spoke with Tolman and said that, “unless she could channel her 4-year-old self, we weren’t going to be able to have her in Season 2, which is a crime and a tragedy and you should be very angry at us for doing that.” But Hawley also said that continuing Gus (Colin Hanks) and Molly’s story felt “disingenuous.”
Landgraf also added that while he thinks the all-star cast of Season 1, including Oscar-winning actor Billy Bob Thornton, was necessary to gain momentum for the show and attract viewers, the writing and title now stand on their own. Fargo earned 18 Emmy nominations this year.
The show will begin production at the beginning of next year. The earliest the season will air is the fall of 2015, though there is no set schedule released for Season 2 as of now.