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

Photo of Oliver Lyttelton By Oliver Lyttelton | The Playlist October 26, 2011 at 11:48AM

'World War Z' Writer Matthew Michael Carnahan Penning ScriptGosh, 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.
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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?

This article is related to: Films, Film Studios, The Snowman, Matthew Michael Carnahan, Working Title


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