It sounds safe to assume that The Snowman will probably not be up to the same quality as director Tomas Alfredson’s previous two films, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and Let the Right One In. The Jo Nesbo adaptation is intended to start a Girl with the Dragon Tattoo-esque franchise following Michael Fassbender’s detective character Harry Hole, and at one point Martin Scorsese was attached to direct. But when Alfredson signed on, the director tells NRK (via The Independent) the production was very rushed—to the point that they didn’t shoot 10% to 15% of the script:
“It happened very abruptly,” he said. “Suddenly we got notice that we had the money and could start the shoot in London.. Our shoot time in Norway was way too short. We didn’t get the whole story with us and when we started cutting we discovered that a lot was missing… It’s like when you’re making a big jigsaw puzzle and a few pieces are missing so you don’t see the whole picture.”
That is, uh, not ideal. Alfredson and the crew did go back for reshoots earlier this year, but either it sounds like they weren’t able to piece the whole thing together, or Alfredson is looking for an excuse as to why the film is being received so poorly by critics.
Either way, this is a bummer. Alfredson’s a talented filmmaker and the cast assembled for The Snowman is pretty terrific. This also marks 0 for 2 for Fassbender attempting to jump-start new franchises, as Assassin’s Creed—which the actor now admits was lacking—failed to spark the kind of box office that greenlights a sequel.
Regardless, I’m still kind of looking forward to The Snowman. If anything it should be an interesting watch, and I’m curious to see what Alfredson settles on for his next project. Here’s hoping it’s not as long a wait as it was between Tinker Tailor and The Snowman. The film hits U.S. theaters on Friday, October 20th.