Fans of FX’s anthology Fargo are looking forward to the return of the series after FX officially confirmed the show for season 4 back in August 2018.
Fans were excited when FX announced that Fargo season 4 would feature Chris Rock in the leading role and that the creators were moving the series’ action from Minnesota to Kansas City, Missouri.
Chris Rock will play the boss of an African American crime syndicate in 1950s Kansas City, who, as part of a truce, swaps his eldest son for the son of the boss of the rival Italian mafia in order to defuse tension between the criminal gangs and avoid a gang war.
We haven’t heard much from the producers since the first details of the upcoming Fargo season 4 emerged in 2018.
Fans have grown anxious and have been asking when to expect Fargo season 4 to premiere, who are the cast members, when will the trailer be released, and what to expect of the storyline and plot.
To answer these questions, we bring you everything known so far about the hotly anticipated Fargo season 4, including details about when shooting will begin, the release date, casting, plot details (including how much of the plot is based on real history), and other recent updates.
We will also be updating this page as new details about Fargo season 4 emerge.
Fargo Season 4 release date
FX has not yet announced a release date for Fargo season 4, but executive producer Warren Littlefield confirmed back in May 2018 that Fargo season 4 will start production in fall 2019.
FX CEO John Landgraf had previously raised hopes that the upcoming season would premiere in 2019. He announced during a presentation at the 2018 TCA winter press tour that creator Noah Hawley already had an idea for another series and he expected Fargo season 4 to premiere in 2019.
But Hawley ended hopes of a 2019 premiere date for Fargo season 4 when he told The Wrap in March 2018 that a 2019 premiere date was a “long shot” due to his busy schedule, which included production work on Legion season 2 and Fox Search Light Picture’s Lucy in the Sky (originally titled Pale Blue Dot), starring Natalie Portman.
Executive Producer Warren Littlefield revealed in May 2018 that Hawley would begin writing the scripts for Fargo season 4 in fall 2018, after wrapping up work on Lucy in the Sky that summer.
It is expected that Hawley and the writing team would have completed work on the scripts by the spring of 2019 before production starts in the fall.
Going by Littlefield’s schedule, the earliest likely premiere date for Fargo season 4 is the spring of 2020.
Fargo season 1 and season 3 premiered in April 2014 and April 2017 respectively, so a spring 2020 release date for Fargo season 4 would not be
Fans can also expect Fargo season 4 to have 10 episodes like seasons 1, 2 and 3.
Fargo Season 4 details
Fargo is an anthology series created by Noah Hawley. The comedy-crime drama series was inspired by the 1996 movie of the same name directed by the Coen brothers.
The Coen brothers, Joel and Ethan, now serve as executive producers of FX’s Fargo with Hawley, Littlefield, Adam Bernstein, Geyer Kosinsk, John Cameron, and Leslie Cowan.
The series has received positive reviews, with Fargo season 1 scoring a 97% approval rating, while season 3 scored 94% based on 63 reviews. On Metacritic, Fargo scored “a generally favorable” Metascore of 85% based on 40 critical reviews.
Fargo has won Primetime Emmy Awards, including Outstanding Miniseries (2014), and Outstanding Casting and Directing for a Miniseries (2014).
Fargo also won the Golden Globes Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Miniseries (Billy Bob Thornton, 2015), Best Miniseries or Motion Picture for TV (2015) and Best Performance by an Actor in a Limited Series (Ewan McGregor, 2018).
Hawley shocked fans when he announced in June 2017 that Fargo season 3 might be the last installment of the beloved series. He later clarified his statement, saying that his busy schedule for 2017 and 2018 made it unlikely that he would be able to start work on Fargo season 4 before 2019.
FX first confirmed plans for Fargo season 4 back in January 2018 when CEO John Landgraf told journalists during a presentation at the Television Critics Association (TCA) winter press tour that the network was planning a fourth season for the anthology series.
He explained that Fargo season 4 would premiere in 2019, and not in 2018, due to creator Hawley’s tight schedule, which included his work on FX’s Legion season 2 (which premiered on April 3, 2018), Lucy in the Sky (2019), and a TV adaptation of Kurt Vonnegut’s Cat’s Cradle for FX.
According to Landgraf, Hawley had confirmed that “he has an idea” for Fargo season 4, and they planned for the new season to premiere in 2019.
But Hawley didn’t seem so sure about the proposed 2019 premiere date. He told TV Guide that although he hoped “we could be making it [Fargo Season 4] in 2019,” he couldn’t promise fans they would see the show in 2019.
Fears that a 2019 release date for Fargo season 4 was not feasible were confirmed in March 2018, when Hawley told The Wrap that the proposed 2019 premiere date “seems like a long shot.”
“I think realistically we will certainly be filming it next year,” he said, “mostly just because it’s a winter show. You know, I have to write [the episodes], then we have to prep it, then we have to film it, which means it’s either this coming winter (2018) or next winter (2019).”
But he insisted that filming in the winter of 2018 was off the table.
Entertainment Weekly (EW) later reported in May 2018 that Fargo executive producer Warren Littlefield had confirmed that filming of Fargo season 4 would start in the fall of 2019, and thus, it was unlikely that the upcoming season would premiere in the same year.
Littlefield shared that Hawley would start writing the script for Fargo Season 4 in the fall of 2018 after wrapping up the shooting of Fox Searchlight Pictures’ Lucy in the Sky (formerly Pale Blue Dot) — starring Natalie Portman — in the summer of the same year.
According to Littlefield, Hawley would complete the entire script before production starts in fall 2019.
Landgraf officially announced the renewal of Fargo for season 4 on Friday, August 3, at the TCA press tour. He confirmed that production of Season 4 will start in 2019, and also released the first synopsis for the upcoming episodes.
But what probably caused the greatest excitement was the news that Fargo Season 4 would star comedian Chris Rock.
It is expected that production of Fargo season 4 will take place in Calgary, Alberta. The first three seasons of Fargo were produced by Mike Frislev and Chad Oakes at Calgary’s Nomadic Pictures.
Although the show creators could move Fargo season 4 filming location from Calgary, there are no indications that they are considering relocating production. The show creators have spoken glowingly of their experience in Calgary.
Fargo Season 4 trailer
FX has not yet released an official trailer for Fargo season 4. We will update this page when an official trailer is dropped.
Meanwhile, enjoy the official trailer for Fargo season 3.
Fargo Season 4 cast
The only confirmed cast member so far is the Emmy Award-winning comedian Chris Rock. Rock will play the leading role of the boss of an African-American crime syndicate who, as part of a peace pact, swaps his eldest son with the son of an Italian mob boss in Kansas City. But things get complicated when the Italian mob boss suddenly dies.
The showrunners have not announced other actors who will appear in Fargo season 4 alongside Chris Rock. We will update this page with casting news when FX makes new announcements.
No doubt fans are looking forward to news about who will play the Italian mob boss and the actors who will portray the sons of both crime bosses, including other supporting cast members.
Meanwhile, Rock has indicated that he can’t wait to start filming.
“I’m a fan of Fargo and I can’t wait to work with Noah,” he said.
Rock’s acting schedule hasn’t been too busy lately, so it’s likely he would be available for the filming of Fargo season 4.
Besides a number of comedies for HBO, Rock’s most recent acting engagements include voicing Marty the Zebra in the Madagascar series (2005-2012).
He starred on the sitcom series Everybody Hates Chris (2005-2009), and appeared in Grown Ups (2010) and Grown Ups 2 (2013) as Kurt McKenzie.
He also starred as Andre Allen in Top Five (2014).
Rock has worked with FX in the past. He worked as an executive producer on FXs’ Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell (TV series 2012-2013).
He also serves as executive producer on BET’s The Rundown with Robin Thede.
Fargo Season 4 plot
Fargo Season 4 almost didn’t happen because Hawley became concerned after launching season 3 that the series’ formula was at risk of getting stale.
Although Fargo season 3 was a ratings’ success for FX, the feeling was growing among fans and critics that the show’s premise and routine were getting tired and that Fargo might not have anything new to offer if it returns with the same formula in season 4.
Hawley clearly agreed with that judgment. He caused a shock among Fargo fans when he hinted at the ATX Television Festival in June 2017 that Fargo might come to an end after season 3.
“There’s only a certain amount of storytelling you can tell in that vein,” he said. “So watch the 10th hour [of season 3] because it might be the last.”
“The only reason to make another one is if you’re going to do something different,” Hawley had said in an interview with The Hollywood Reportor in March 2018.
But Hawley and FX were able to save the series. FX allowed Hawley time off to work on his other projects while mulling over a fresh take for Fargo in season 4.
Fargo season 4’s plot is clearly an effort to respond to the concerns that the show’s routine is getting tired. Thus in season 4, we will see Fargo shift from its familiar setting in the rural upper Midwest to Kansas City, Missouri.
The time setting of the story will also go farther back than ever before to the 1950s.
The first, second and third seasons of the series were set in small-town Minnesota. But each season told a different story set in different years, with new characters and cast, although there were minor character and story overlaps.
Season 1 was set in 2006 and starred Billy Bob Thornton, Allison Tolman, Colin Hanks and Martin Freeman. The season followed Deputy Molly Solverson hunting the evil Lorne Malvo.
Season 2 was set in 1979, and starred Kirsten Dunst, Patrick Wilson, Jesse Plemons, Jean Smart, and Ted Danson. The season followed Molly Solverson’s father, Lou, investigating multiple murders.
Fargo season 3 was set in
Fargo season 4 is set in the 1950s, at the end of two major waves of American migrations. The first wave consisted of Italians and other Southern Europeans who came to the country in large numbers early in the century and settled in major urban areas in the North, including Chicago and New York.
The second wave consisted of African Americans who settled in Northern cities after fleeing Jim Crow in the South.
The separate migrations converge in Kansas City, Missouri, in the form of two criminal syndicates — one African American, the other Italian — competing for control of the underground economy of drug trade, criminal extortion, blackmail and myriad other forms of graft.
To secure their fortunes, the heads of the rival crime syndicates reach a truce, and as part of efforts to maintain the truce and cement peace, they exchange their eldest sons.
The arrangement was working well until the head of the Italian mafia family dies suddenly, following a routine surgery.
How much of Fargo Season 4 plot is based on true history?
The real-life Italian Kansas City Crime Family in the 1950s was the Civella crime family under Nicholas Civella (1912-1983). After taking over the Kansas City Mafia from Anthony Gizzo who, like the Italian crime boss in Fargo season 4, died in 1953 of a sudden heart attack, Civella consolidated the power and influence of his crime family by forging alliances with other crime syndicates in other cities.
The alliances were partly successful and helped to expand the family’s fortunes, but there were still a number of brutal gang wars in the period, most notably the bloody war over the control of the River Quay district which led to bombings and killings.
Civella was eventually arrested and imprisoned in 1975 on gambling charges.
African American organized crime emerged after the Great Migration of the early 20th century during which an estimated six million African Americans fled the Jim Crow South to settle in the urban centers of the North and Midwest.
By the ’20s and ’30s, Harlem had become the main center of African American organized crime, controlled by Casper Holstein and Stephanie St. Clair, alias “Madam Queen of Policy.”
Stephanie St. Claire started off as the leader of a local gang known as the 40 Thieves that ran extortion rackets, but she ended up controlling a large chunk of the numbers racket (“policy banking”) in the area.
It was in the 1950s that the first major African American drug trafficking syndicates began emerging. The best-known in Kansas City came to prominence in ’60s. The Purple Capsule Gang was known by that name because they sold heroin in purple capsules.
Eugene Richardson and Doc Dearborn were the acknowledged leaders of the Purple Capsule Gang. Investigations following the assassination of African-American politician Leon Jordan indicated that the gang had links with the Civella crime family.
The La Cosa Nostra families had developed close links with the Black Mafia in several U.S. cities, including Kansas City, as early as the 1950s. Drug trafficking was originally under the control of the La Cosa Nostra.
However, the Sicilian syndicates reportedly pulled out of the drug business in the late ’50s, allowing the Black Mafia to take over, and by the ’60s the Black Mafia was controlling heroin trafficking in major northern cities, and gambling activity in the black neighborhoods.