Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Hollywood Hot for Scandanavian Writers

Hollywood loves sure things which is why we see so many sequels, prequels and remakes. It's also why Sony made an English language version of the Swedish film, Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, based on Steig Larsson's book. According to Deadline Hollywood, The Swedish version did $104million worldwide, $10million of that in the U.S.  Sony must figure if they can get Americans to spend that much money on a sub-titled foreign film with no big recognizable names, we will probably lap up a David Fincher version starring action A lister, Daniel Craig. And Sony is probably right; Larsson's book, and its two followups, were huge here. Certainly every hip young thing and trendy intellectual had a copy on their bedside table. My college aged son and his friends are pumped to see what Fincher has done with this amazing source material - and so am I; the trailer has got us all excited.
Which is why it's not surprising that the Scandanavians are hot hot hot right now. Jo Nesbo is a Norwegian writer of a popular crime series of books featuring Detective Harry Hole. The books are international best sellers, translated into over 40 languages, and having sold 9 million copies worldwide. That's a lot of books. a huge built in fanbase for Nesbo's work. His book Headhunters was recently published in the states by Doubleday and is already a New York Times bestseller. It "chronicles the escapades of a high-living corporate headhunter who steals artwork from his rich clients to finance his expensive lifestyle. When a heist unexpectedly goes south, he discovers he’s in way over his head in a murderous scheme". Headhunters has already been made into a film by Swedish production company Yellow Bird (which also made Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) and the film, which just played at the BFI London Film Festival this week, will be seeing an American remake too. Apparently Summit Entertainment has the original book out to scripters with plans in the works to finance the film with a $40 to $50million budget. I haven't read any of Nesbo's work yet but I have a feeling the Doubleday version will be adding to my nightstand clutter soon!

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