Director in early talks for Working Title's adaptation of mystery novel

Martin Scorsese is looking to return to the sort of films that have defined his career, but with a chilly, Nordic twist: The helmer is in early talks to direct Working Title’s adaptation of Jo Nesbo’s bestselling mystery novel “The Snowman.”

While no formal offer has been made, Scorsese has been circling the project for the last month while putting the finishing touches on Paramount’s “Hugo.” He recently began engaging with Working Title and is now seriously considering helming the project.

Matthew Michael Carnahan is in talks to adapt the Norwegian novel, the seventh entry in Nesbo’s series about detective Harry Hole. Set in Oslo, “The Snowman” concerns a missing woman whose pink scarf is found wrapped around an ominous-looking snowman. Hole discovers that the crime may be the work of a serial killer.

Working Title’s Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner will produce the pic, while Nesbo and Niclas Salomonsson will exec produce.

Nesbo’s Harry Hole series has sold more than 5 million copies worldwide and offers franchise potential similar to that of Sony’s “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,” helmed by David Fincher. Elsewhere, Ridley Scott is attached to direct Sony’s American adaptation of the British “Red Riding” serial killer trilogy.

Carnahan, whose past films include Peter Berg’s “The Kingdom,” Robert Redford’s “Lions for Lambs” and Kevin Macdonald’s “State of Play,” is one of two scribes credited on Paramount’s upcoming Brad Pitt starrer “World War Z.”

Paramount will release Scorsese’s “Hugo” on Nov. 23. Pic, which stars Asa Butterfield and Chloe Moretz, is aimed at a decidedly younger audience than “The Snowman.”

Scorsese and Carnahan are repped by WME.

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