Jo Nesbo/Photo © Håkon Eikesdal via jonesbo.com
Vanity Fair was on to something when they said, “Like [Stieg] Larsson, [Jo] Nesbø explores the darkest criminal minds with grim delight and puts his killers where you least expect to find them ... [and] his novels are maddeningly addictive.”
Nesbo is one hell of an author, whose thrillers move at warp speed, taking readers on harrowing adventures through Norway, Serbia, Thailand, leaving fans gasping for breath – and begging for more – at the end of each book. Norwegian director Morten Tyldum’s adaptation of Nesbo’s Headhunters has just landed stateside – and the American remake of the film, taken on by director Sacha Gervasi, is in the works. Amid the hoopla surrounding his arrival, Nesbo graciously answered a few quick questions for Word & Film.
Word & Film: Morten Tyldum’s interpretation of Headhunters was very well done, but are there pieces of the storyline you hope will receive different treatment with the Sacha Gervasi adaptation?
Jo Nesbo: I just hope it will be different – which only has to do with me being curious. It's like when somebody is doing a cover of one of your songs, you just hope they will add something new to it, reinvent it in some way. But that may of course not be the wish of the average cinemagoer – or book reader for that matter.
W&F: As a bestselling thriller author arriving stateside from Scandinavia, while moving onto the big screen as well, the comparisons to Stieg Larsson are inevitable. How do you feel about these comparisons?
JN: Well, both Larsson and I are from Scandinavia and we write crime, and although I have only read one and a half of Stieg Larsson’s novels, I don't see many other similarities. But I guess from the inside you see the differences; from the outside you see the similarities and I kind of understand that people need to navigate according to things they know, so it's not like I'm annoyed.
W&F: Congratulations on the film plans for The Snowman. What do you hope that Martin Scorsese might bring to the adaptation?
JN: His enormous storytelling talent. I'm a fan and in addition a typically shamelessly humble Scandinavian, so I'm of course more concerned about what my book might bring to the movie.