By CANDACE SUTTON
PUBLISHED: 02:05 EST, 17 March 2014 | UPDATED: 12:42 EST, 17 March 2014
Two men struggle with a sack out on a windswept frozen lake until one protests, in deaf sign language, that the hole in the ice is too small, and the other grasps the leg of the body protruding from the bag and signs, 'guy's too fat'.
The solution? Get a chainsaw.
A truck rumbles along a frozen highway, and as it passes an icy breeze loosens the snow on the side bank to reveal a pair of human nostrils protruding from the drift.
Soothing piped music is playing as a man pushing a shopping trolley along the aisle of a hardware store throws in his purchases: an axe, duct tape, a crow bar, a hunting knife, boxes of ammunition, and a rifle bag.
The Coens acted as producers of the new ten-episode TV series, which was developed by screenwriter Noah Hawley (Bones),and stars Martin Freeman as Lester Nygaard, a man who has his life drastically changed when he encounters a mysterious man who arrives in town.
Billy Bob Thornton, a Coen brothers favourite, plays Lorne Malvo, a boastful and manipulative crook who FBI agents Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele are obsessed with tracking down.
In one of the teasers, the scene where the 'fishermen' who speak sign language as they attempt to stuff a body down an ice hole, would seem to reference the famous scene in the original film when Marge happens upon one of the hit men feeding the body of the other into a woodchipper.
In the FX spin-off, Freeman as Nygaard plays a henpecked insurance salesman who is based loosely on the Macy role.
The series also stars Oliver Platt (The Big C) and Bob Odenkirk (‘Better Call Saul’ in Breaking Bad), Kate Walsh (Greys Anatomy), and tom Hank's son Colin Hanks (Mad Men, Orange County and Parkland).
The dark humour and Midwest setting remains, but the series has an entirely new plot. It was filmed in Canada and premiers in the US on April 15.
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