The Coen Brothers are to adapt their Oscar-winning film Fargo into a television series starring Billy Bob Thornton.
The ten-part series for US channel FX will involve brand new characters and a new scenario.
Thornton, 57, will play an insidious character named Lorne Malvo, described as “a rootless, manipulative man who meets a small town insurance salesman and sets him on a path of destruction.”
John Landgraf, president of FX, told screenwriters on Friday that the new series will “be different from the movie, but very true to its spirit.”
The storyline will conclude after ten episodes, but Landgraf said there could be future seasons “with different characters and a different storyline”.
Joel and Ethan Coen, who wrote and produced the original film, will serve as executive producers, alongside Warren Littlefield and Geyer Kosniski.
The TV adaptation of Fargo will be the Coen Brothers’ first venture into television after a film career that has produced cult classics including The Big Lebowski and box office hits such as No Country for Old Men.
The 1996 film starred Frances McDormand as a determined, pregnant police chief on the trail of a series of homicides.
McDormand won an Oscar for her performance, as did Ethan and Joel Coen for their screenplay.