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New HBO drama 'Stillwater' would make a star of Minnesota

Posted by: Neal Justin under Behind the scenes, Television Updated: August 18, 2014 - 2:56 PM

Lea Thompson and Howard Deutch

Could "Fargo" have triggered a sudden interest in Minnesota? Perhaps.

Deadline.com is reporting that HBO is considering a series called "Stillwater," in which a New York City cop's life spirals out of control once he moves to small-town Minnesota. No cast members have been announced, but the behind-the-scenes team has some strong local connections.

Howard Deutch, who will direct and executive produce the pilot, is married to Rochester native Lea Thompson, best known for playing Michael J. Fox's mom in "Back to the Future." Deutch also directed 1995's "Grumpier Old Men," which was shot in and around the Twin Cities. (He also directed a film called "The Replacements," but it has everything to do with Keanu Reeves playing football and nothing to do with our legendary band).

Mark Steven Johnson, who is writing the first episode, is from Hastings. He wrote the original "Grumpy Old Men," which remains one of the most successful films ever shot in the state.

And then there's co-executive producer Colin Farrell, who, um, may or may not have once had a drink at the Minnesota airport.

No word yet on when or where shooting will start.

Minnesota Film and TV Board executive director Lucinda Winter said Monday that she's reached out to HBO and Deutch's office, but that it's "way, way too early in the process" to know if the show is seriously considering shooting the pilot in the area.

Winter is hopeful that relatively new incentives, which could include a 25 percent rebate for local production, will have Hollywood come calling.

"We're going to make a lot of noise as things progress," she said.

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