For some odd reason, the casting announcements for FX’s upcoming third season of Fargo keep surprising us with great actors. Today, Entertainment Weekly reported that David Thewlis (that’s Remus Lupin to you Harry Potter fans) would join the cast. Then, The Hollywood Reporter said that Michael Stuhlbarg, Scoot McNairy, Shea Whigham, Karan Soni, Fred Melamed and Thomas Mann would also be joining.

I hardly have to explain to most of you why David Thewlis is fantastic. But if you’re wondering what’s so great about that second batch of names, I’ll tell you. Michael Stuhlbarg, like Thewlis, is a Coen Brothers veteran, having starred in 2009’s A Serious Man. Fred Melamed played a supporting role in that same film, and he’s hilarious in Lady Dynamite. Scoot McNairy had a supporting role in Batman v. Superman, but you should know he’s awesome on Halt and Catch Fire.

Shea Whigham pops up in all sort of places, like the Fast & Furious series and the upcoming Kong: Skull Island. He plays a great henchman type. You might remember Karan Soni as Dopinder, the taxi driver from Deadpool. Thomas Mann is the only one I don’t know anything about, but a cursory Googling tells me he was in iCarly. So that’s gotta be worth something.

These newly announced cast members join the likes of Ewan McGregor, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Carrie Coon, and Jim Gaffigan. The announced cast as it stands now may not be a terribly diverse one. However, it is full of people who are a joy to watch on screen. But who will they play, and when does the story take place?

This third season’s story will start two years after the show’s first season, bringing the show back to a contemporary setting. Ewan McGregor is pulling double duty as brothers Emmit and Ray Stussy, who find themselves at the center of this season’s plot. Emmit is a wealthy mogul and family man. Ray is the other side of the coin: a schlub.

Thewlis joins the cast as the mysterious V. M. Vargas, the so-called Parking Lot King of Minnesota. When the season begins, Vargas will become partners with Emmit’s shady employers. Carrie Coon will play a chief of police, and Gaffigan will be her deputy. Mary Elizabeth Winstead’s character, Nikki, is a clever parolee with a penchant for playing bridge.

After Fargo’s first two seasons, you might be wondering — why the quality actors? I mean, it’s not like the award-winning spinoff show is one of the best dramas in FX’s history. It’s not like showrunner Noah Hawley and his writers have taken the narrative reins from masters of cinema Joel and Ethan Coen and made something whole and beautiful. And we’re certainly not looking forward to seeing Fargo premiere again in Spring 2017. Nope.

Travis Newton
Travis Newton is a Fan Contributor at Fandom. He began writing about movies and TV for CHUD.com in 2012, and co-hosts The Drew Reviews Podcast with Fandom Entertainment Editor Drew Dietsch. He’s partial to horror movies, action games, and Irish Breakfast tea.