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Author Nesbø may lose Scorsese

Norwegian author Jo Nesbø has dreamed of working with famed film director Martin Scorsese and it seemed it would come true with his crime novel Snømannen (The Snowman). Now it looks like the film version of Nesbø’s best-seller may be directed by someone else.

Author Jo Nesbø still hopes Martin Scorsese will direct the film version of his crime novel "The Snowman." PHOTO: Stian Andersen
Author Jo Nesbø still hopes Martin Scorsese will direct the film version of his crime novel “The Snowman.” PHOTO: Stian Andersen

Newspaper Aftenposten reported this week that Scorsese, age 70, has put several other film projects ahead of The Snowman, which was published in 2007 as the seventh book in Nesbø’s series about a Norwegian police investigator named Harry Hole. Scorsese even had said in late 2011 that he wanted to film in Oslo, where the book is set, and that the only thing holding him up was a finished script.

Since then things have gone quiet and Scorsese has been linked to four other films including one on the late singer Frank Sinatra and a documentary on former US President Bill Clinton.

Nesbø had made it clear in his contract with the film’s producer in London that he wanted a decisive role in choice of director and that he favoured Scorsese. The producer, Working Title Films, is owned by NBC Universal and Universal is reportedly getting impatient waiting for Scorsese.

Aftenposten reported that Universal has recently asked several other directors to consider taking on the job as director. Icelandic director Baltasar Kormakur is among them, but said he declined.

“I don’t think Scorsese will make this film,” Kormakur told Aftenposten. Morten Tyldum, who directed the film version of Nesbø’s Hodejegerne (The Headhunters) also was approached through his agent but declined as well. He starts work on another film later this summer.

Nesbø himself said he thinks Universal is looking at alternatives to get the project done earlier than it would be with Scorsese. “They’re impatient and see that it will take time to wait for Scorsese,” Nesbø told Aftenposten. “What they’re doing now is more a sign that Universal would like to show us some alternatives.”

Nesbø added that “it’s no secret Scorsese is a busy man, we knew that when we signed him. There’s a line (of films) both in front of and behind Snømannen. We hoped, and still hope, that we could cut into the queue.” Neither Universal nor Working Title Films would comment.

Views and News from Norway/Nina Berglund

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