The success of Stieg Larsson's The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo paved the way for an influx of translations of Scandinavian mystery, crime, and suspense novels. Among the most successful of these were Jo Nesbø's "Harry Hole" mystery-suspense novels – all rather dark tales centering on the titular, hard-drinking detective and the sordid cases tossed his way by the Oslo police.
Nesbø's international acclaim assured a film adaptation, eventually lining up none other than legendary director Martin Scorsese to direct the adaptation of Nesbø's book, The Snowman. Almost a year after Scorsese's involvement with the adaptation was announced, it looks as if his extremely busy schedule has forced him to bow out.
Views and News From Norway has shared the scoop that Scorsese will not be directing The Snowman. The director has repeatedly placed other projects in front of the adaptation, to the point that he simply won't be able to get to it in the timeframe desired by producers. Scorsese is currently finishing post-production on The Wolf of Wall Street and has several different projects lined up to immediately follow, including a Frank Sinatra biopic.
The Snowman will follow a serial killer who kidnaps women on the day of each year's first snow. When Oslo detective Harry Hole realizes that the same man is responsible for almost a dozen disappearances, he becomes embroiled in a chaotic cat-and-mouse game. Meanwhile, the murderer's latest quarry attempts to escape a fate that she can barely even imagine.
With Scorsese out, Working Title Films and Universal are on the hunt for a new director. Baltasar Kormakur (2 Guns) has already been offered The Snowman's director's chair, but declined due to his own full schedule. Similarly, Morten Tyldum – who directed the previous Nesbø adaptation Headhunters – turned down directing duties.
Who, then, should direct The Snowman? If Universal really does want to capture the lingering interest in Dragon Tattoo, they could always attempt to tap Niels Arden Oplev (Dead Man Down), who directed the original Swedish adaptation of Larsson's novel. Currently filming CBS's Stephen King Under the Dome pilot, Oplev has no announced projects in the pipeline. Then again, The Snowman may be too close to material he's previously worked on.
As of the moment, the question of The Snowman's eventual director is wide open and inscrutable. If the adaptation is a hit, it will open an entire series of books (nine so far) for adaptation. With that kind of potential on the table, Universal will likely look for a solid, reliable, helmer for the film. Expect to hear news of The Snowman's new director (or lack thereof) in the coming weeks.
With Scorsese off the project, The Snowman's eventual release date is even more unknowable than before. Watch Screen Rant for more news as it develops.