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To the Screen: Iced in Ice, the Remake

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As in books, so it is in film and TV: Stieg ­Larsson may be hogging all the attention—with his Girl With the Dragon Tattoo currently getting the David Fincher treatment (and due ­December 21)—but the explosion of filmed Nordic crime has been going on for well over a decade. Henning Mankell alone has seen three rounds of film and TV adaptations, culminating in a BBC Wallander that inspired the Brits to air the original 2007 Danish crime series, The Killing—a runaway hit that spawned the current AMC remake. Thriller elements are native to Scandinavian cinema—as in Lars von Trier’s compelling early work (The Element of Crime, The Kingdom), with its mix of offbeat stylistic and thematic obsessions with pulp material. The Kingdom was later remade by Stephen King as Kingdom Hospital. (This whole remake thing is nothing new: Back in 1978, The Silent Partner, starring Elliott Gould, was a remake of the 1969 Danish thriller Think of a Number, based on the novel by Anders Bodelsen.) As we wait to see if Fincher can top the Swedish version of Dragon Tattoo, here’s a look at what else is in the pipeline.


1. The Snowman (Jo Nesbø)
Rights were bought by Working Title in October. In the meantime, Magnolia will release a brand-new Norwegian film of Nesbø’s Headhunters in the U.S. this year; remake rights are a hot property.


2. The Department Q novels (Jussi Adler-Olsen)
Zentropa Entertainment, the Danish company founded by Von Trier, is producing a series of movies based on Adler-Olsen’s novels—most likely not for Von Trier himself to direct.


3. Easy Money (Jens Lapidus)
Lapidus’s 2006 gangster drama Snabba Cash (a.k.a. Easy Money) became a hit Swedish film last year, with two sequels set to follow. Zac Efron is attached to star in an American remake.


4. Jar City (Arnaldur Indriðason)
Baltasar Kormákur’s chilling 2006 adaptation of Indriðason’s novel, also known as Tainted Blood, remains among the finest Nordic crime films. Kormákur is reportedly producing an American remake, set in Louisiana.


5. The Varg Veum series (Gunnar Staalesen)
Nine of the Norwegian writer’s novels centering on noble, hard-boiled Veum have been made into films, starting with Bitter Flowers in 2007. Two have been released this year.‬


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