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Martin Scorsese to Direct 'The Snowman' for Working Title

UP: Martin Scorsese,
Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images for HBO

The "Hugo" helmer will return to the crime thriller genre in bringing Norwegian author Jo Nesbo's novel to the big screen.

COLOGNE, Germany – Norwegian author Jo Nesbo and Brit production company Working Title Films have confirmed that Martin Scorsese will direct the feature film adaptation of Nesbo’s global bestseller The Snowman.

Scorsese had been circling the project for some time now but Nesbo had to give final approval for the director. He has done so, confirming to a Swedish newspaper that Scorsese will direct the first English-language adaptation of his work. Nesbo added that he would not insist Snowman be shot on location in Olso, where the book is set.

PHOTOS: Martin Scorsese on Set

With Snowman, Scorsese will shift away from the family-friendly approach of Hugo to the crime thriller genre of his Oscar-winning The Departed. The novel features Norwegian detective Harry Hole, described as an anti-authoritarian, anti-sobriety cop, who investigates particularly gruesome killings. In Snowman, the seventh book in the Harry Hole franchise, a son finds his mother’s pink scarf wrapped around the neck of a ominous looking snowman. Hole realizes she is the latest victim of a serial killer.

Screenwriter Matthew Michael Carnahan (World War Z), will pen the script to Snowman. Working Title’s Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner will produce. Nesbo and his literary agent Niclas Salomonsson will receive executive producer credits.

PHOTO: Martin Scorsese Career in Pictures

Headhunters, a Norwegian adaptation of another Nesbo novel, has become one of the most successful films of all time for the territory. Mortem Tyldum’s $5 million thriller, starring Aksel Hennie, has already earned close to $12 million from the Scandinavian box office alone.

Working Title was an early convert to the Scandinavian crime wave, tapping Swedish director Tomas Alfredsson (Let The Right One In) to helm its adaptation of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy starring Gary Oldman, Tom Hardy and Colin Firth.