Martin Freeman will take on the central role in the upcoming TV adaption of the Coen Brothers 1996 Oscar-nominated film Fargo. The Hobbit star has been handed the role of Lester Nygaard, who was originally portrayed by William H. Macy, in the 10-episode limited series based on by the cult 1996 film.

Martin Freeman
Freeman will take on William H. Macy's role

Freeman is the latest main character to be cast in the series, with Billy Bob Thornton already lined up to star in the television spin-off to portray a completely new character. The series, which will be set in Minnesota and follow a different premise to the original 1996 film, will supposedly feature an completely different "real crime" story, with Nygaard this time being a hapless insurance salesman who is manipulated by the passing stranger Lorne Malvo (Thornton). Throughout the series, Malvo will sink his teeth into Freeman's character and enlist him to carry out illegal, money-spinning ploys on his behalf.

Coen Brothers
The Coen Brothers will serve as the series' executive producers

Originally written, directed and produced by Joel and Ethan Coen, the filmmaking siblings will this time serve as executive producers on the project. Noah Hawley will write the script for the series, as well as serving as executive producer, with Warren Littlefield and Geyer Kosinski also producing. Emmy-winning Adam Bernstein will direct the first episode of the darkly humorous crime drama.

Filming of the limited series will begin in October, and will take place in Calgary and other parts of Canada. The show will debut in spring 2014 and will be given world-wide distribution. The show will air on FX in the US.

Dr Watson
Freeman has just finished shooting for the third series of Sherlock