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Martin Scorsese Eyeing Jo Nesbø's Scandinavian Serial Killer Tale 'The Snowman' At Working Title

by Oliver Lyttelton
October 26, 2011 11:48 AM
12 Comments
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'World War Z' Writer Matthew Michael Carnahan Penning Script



Gosh, it seemed like only last week we were discussing the rising stock of Norwegian crime writer Jo Nesbø. With "The Killing" and "Wallander" going great guns on TV, and "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" poised to be a big Christmas hit, anything with murder and a setting north of Germany is ripe for optioning. And Nesbø, whose novels were among the first to cash in on the post-Stieg Larsson trend when translated into English, and whose "Headhunters" has proved a hit on the festival circuit (read our LFF review here), is one of the most eagerly sought-after.

Working Title Films, the British company behind "Love, Actually," "Atonement" and, most recently, "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy," optioned Nesbø's international breakthrough novel "The Snowman," the seventh to star his Oslo detective Harry Hole, a while back, and with Fincher's 'Dragon Tattoo' almost on us, it's no surprise that they're seeking to move forward with the film. What is surprising is the caliber of director they seem to be close to landing.

Variety report that Martin Scorsese, of all people, is in early talks to helm the adaptation of "The Snowman," which has a script from "The Kingdom" and "World War Z" writer Matthew Michael Carnahan, who previously collaborated with Working Title on "State of Play." It's certainly a change of pace from his current film, the imminent 3D kids flick "Hugo," signaling a return to the pulpy source material of recent crime flicks "The Departed" and "Shutter Island."

The plot involves Hole, a hard-living detective WHO DOESN'T PLAY BY THE RULES, investigating a spate of women found murdered with the titular snowmen left at the scene, and the trade say that Scorsese is considering making the project his next film, which would seem to mark bad news for the Leonardo DiCaprio-aided remake of "The Gambler," Elizabeth Taylor/Richard Burton biopic "Furious Love," and the long-delayed Frank Sinatra biopic and missionaries-in-Japan picture "Silence," the latter of which was said to be heading for an early 2012 shoot.

We're less than enthused by this choice, to be honest; realistically, Marty, who turns 70 next year, can't have dozens of films left in him, and we'd rather he'd didn't waste one of them on what sounds like a fairly rote police procedural. Fans of the novel, are we wrong? Is the potential for another "Seven" or "Silence of the Lambs" in here? Could we see frequent collaborator DiCaprio taking on the central role of Harry Hole? Who are the Norwegian equivalent of The Rolling Stones?

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12 Comments

  • Wazoo Norwegian | November 18, 2011 3:35 PMReply

    Liam Neeson as Harry Hole. The Norwegian equivalent of The Rolling Stones? No Doubt - it's Bee Gees...

  • Kris | November 18, 2011 3:15 AMReply

    Great book in a book series featuring my favourite character. PLEASE, keep DiCaprio away from this!

  • gonad | October 27, 2011 12:34 PMReply

    'Marty' is a young turk compared to Manoel de Oliveira, who's nearly 103 and still pumpin em out.

  • duaba | October 27, 2011 12:04 PMReply

    Seventy, with only a few films left in him?!?! Are you kidding - seventy is the new fifty. He has MANY films left in him!

  • gonad | October 27, 2011 8:12 AMReply

    What about The Irishman with De Niro, Pacino, Pesci? Is that dead?

  • kristop | October 27, 2011 3:41 AMReply

    Great directors routinely turn bad or mediocre material/scripts into interesting movies. Scorsese with Shutter Island, for instance. Polanski turned The Ghost Writer into one of his best films. The Shining, obviously. Fincher does it, but I'm sure a lot of people disagree. Actually, Hollywood's been doing this since the beginning.

  • Davey | October 27, 2011 3:21 AMReply

    Don't know anything about the novel, but it sounds like it could be interesting.

    But I'm really, REALLY hoping that "Silence" is next for Scorsese.

  • Ian | October 27, 2011 2:20 AMReply

    Source material is quite good, so this could be interesting. A lot of Scandinavian crime thrillers are not just crime fiction, but generally deal with social commentary, politics etc, etc.

    The Rolling Stones are quite big in Norway and teh books are full of US & UK pop pop culture references.

    Tom hardy would be perfect!

  • Michael | October 27, 2011 1:11 AMReply

    The soundtrack to this should be only music by Di Derre.

  • dryer | October 26, 2011 12:23 PMReply

    "who are the norwegian equivilant of the rolling stones ?" --- the funniest thing ive read all week, a real lmao !!

  • kris | October 26, 2011 12:08 PMReply

    tom hardy,please!

  • Monica | October 26, 2011 11:56 AMReply

    Please, no DiCaprio!

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