Actor, director, author and international geek icon Bruce Campbell has more than the upcoming Starz series Ash vs. Evil Dead on his slate of future acting projects. He just signed on to play none other than actor-turned-politician Ronald Reagan on the critically acclaimed hit FX series Fargo.
Fargo, which is based on Joel and Ethan Coen‘s Oscar-winning 1996 comic thriller of the same name, premiered early last year to rave reviews, great ratings, and went on to win three Emmy awards and two Golden Globes (one of the latter went to star Billy Bob Thornton). The second season will be a prequel to the first and take place in the late 1970s, when Reagan was mounting his first campaign to be President of the United States.
As FX CEO John Landgraf stated back in January during a panel discussion with the Television Critics Association:
“He’s on his first campaign [and he] makes a swing through Fargo. Some of the characters have some interactions with him. And some of his movies are also a part of the show.”
Patrick Wilson (The Conjuring, Watchmen) will be starring in the new season of Fargo as a younger Lou Solverson, the father of first season heroine Molly (Allison Tolman) who was then played by Keith Carradine. After returning from a stint fighting in Vietnam, Lou resumes his past job as a Minnesota State Patrolman and gets involved with gang crime and the local mob. Cast as Lou’s father-in-law Hank Larsson is Ted Danson (C.S.I., Cheers), while Nick Offerman (Parks and Recreation), Kirsten Dunst (Melancholia), Kieran Culkin (Scott Pilgrim vs. the World), and Brad Garrett (Everybody Loves Raymond) will also have roles of varying degrees of importance in the forthcoming season.
Campbell will play Reagan in one episode of Fargo‘s second season. His longtime Burn Notice co-star Jeffrey Donovan will also be part of the cast, but there is no word yet if their characters will have any interaction. Campbell has a very interesting history with Fargo. He first met the Coen brothers when Joel served as an assistant editor on the original The Evil Dead. Their experience working together on Sam Raimi’s scrappy, gory horror classic inspired the Coens to take a shot at making their own independent film. The result was Blood Simple, the feature that launched their careers. They also co-wrote the wacky 1985 comedy Crimewave with Raimi and Campbell co-starred in that notorious cult fiasco as Renaldo the Heel. Since then Campbell has had small roles in two of the Coens’ subsequent films, The Hudsucker Proxy and The Ladykillers.
Fargo the television series was created by Noah Hawley, who also serves as an executive producer alongside both Joel and Ethan Coen. There is still no date set for the premiere of the second season but we can expect it later this year.
Fun Fact: On the commentary track that accompanied the LaserDisc, DVD, and Blu-ray releases of Evil Dead II (my favorite movie of all time – FACT), Bruce Campbell openly mused what Ronald Reagan would say and/or do when faced with battling demon-possessed zombies. He even broke out a hilarious impression of the Gipper. Funny ol’ world, isn’t it?
[Source: TV Line]