The last time we reported on FX’s Fargo, it was to relay some unfortunate news: FX CEO John Landgraf had revealed that it would be “quite some time” before Noah Hawley’s Emmy- and Golden Globe-winning crime-drama anthology, inspired by the Coen brothers’ 1996 film of the same name, returned for a fourth installment. He noted Hawley had an organizing idea for the new season, but said of its timeline, “The plan is to have that ready for 2019.”
The plan has changed.
According to EW, Fargo executive producer Warren Littlefield says the show won’t even start shooting until next fall, meaning that season four—or “Year Four,” as FX prefers to term the show’s installments—won’t air until December of 2019 at the absolute earliest. It’s far more likely the show returns in 2020, and most likely in April at that, seeing as how FX has premiered two of Fargo’s first three seasons in that month.
“We have a year, and we have a city [that season four takes place in],” said Littlefield. “The plan would be to go into production and start shooting in the fall of 2019. Noah has a lot on his plate. Noah knows when it is and where it is, and he’ll commence writing that after he shoots his feature with Fox Searchlight this summer. So in the fall, he’ll begin writing and with Fargo we generally have most of the scripts written before we go into production.”
The Fox Searchlight feature Littlefield is referring to is Pale Blue Dot, Hawley’s fact-based astronaut drama starring Natalie Portman, Jon Hamm and Zazie Beetz. Portman plays a married astronaut who strikes up an affair with a fellow astronaut (Hamm) after returning to Earth from a mission, becoming alienated from her family and outright unraveling when Hamm’s character begins an affair with a young astronaut trainee (Beetz).
Hawley’s other acclaimed FX series, the Marvel-based superhero mind-bender Legion, is currently amidst its recently extended second season. You can read Paste’s episodic reviews of the series here. Paste Editor-in-Chief Josh Jackson declared the series “the champion of bat-shit crazy TV” in his write-up on the season two premiere.
Don’t be surprised if Fargo’s fourth season is lacking a certain Hawleyness. When we spoke to the showrunner ahead of Fargo’s season three debut, he recalled working on that and Legion’s first season simultaneously, telling Paste of that balancing act, “You sort of have to tell yourself, ‘I’m not there, so there’s no way I’m going to get more than 85 percent of my vision.’” Fortunately for us all, even partial Hawley should be plenty to help Fargo make another appearance among Paste’s picks for the best limited series of the year. It’s just a shame that year will likely be 2020.