Why The Snowman Has So Many Problems, According To The Director

Michael Fassbender The Snowman

Tomas Alfredson's The Snowman is one of the big new releases this week, but it isn't exactly entering theaters on a high note. While based on a very popular novel by Jo Nesbo, the film has not been widely screening for critics, and those who have seen it have been only adding negative buzz. What's surprising is that the director is being surprisingly open about all of it, and already trying to explain what it is that went wrong. Said Alfredson recently,

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.

The Snowman is a project that has been in development for a number of years, with Martin Scorsese initially showing interest in the project back in late 2011. All the same, it still didn't provide enough preparation time for the filmmaker. These are the kind of revelations that generally come out after a movie has been released, but speaking with the Norwegian Broadcasting Association (translation by Yahoo! UK), Tomas Alfredson held nothing back.

While The Snowman has been in the works for a while, and Tomas Alfredson has been attached since 2015, apparently the biggest issue was the way that the scheduling worked out. After a long period of nothing happening with the project, it seems that it managed to find money suddenly, and from there plans for production were apparently made a bit too hastily. Said Alfredson.

It happened very abruptly, suddenly we got notice that we had the money and could start the shoot in London.

Based on the book of the same name released a decade ago, The Snowman stars Michael Fassbender as Harry Hole, a detective on the search for a dangerous and elusive serial killer. The titular antagonist is known for making a habit of killing during the first snow fall of winter, and Hole must team up with a new recruit (Rebecca Ferguson) to help try and solve the case. You just shouldn't expect to do it yourself, given that apparently there are some key elements of the story that just aren't there.

This is obviously a real shame. Tomas Alfredson has had a great reputation before this feature, with a resume including Let The Right One In and Tinker, Tailor, Solider, Spy, and the quality of the source material gave a lot of people high expectations. Still, The Snowman sits with a 24 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, and we don't exactly expect its score to skyrocket over the next few days.

The Snowman, which also stars Charlotte Gainsbourg, Val Kilmer and J. K. Simmons, will be in theaters this Friday. We'll have our own review of the film here on CinemaBlend before then, so be on the lookout!

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

Eric Eisenberg is the Assistant Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. After graduating Boston University and earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism, he took a part-time job as a staff writer for CinemaBlend, and after six months was offered the opportunity to move to Los Angeles and take on a newly created West Coast Editor position. Over a decade later, he's continuing to advance his interests and expertise. In addition to conducting filmmaker interviews and contributing to the news and feature content of the site, Eric also oversees the Movie Reviews section, writes the the weekend box office report (published Sundays), and is the site's resident Stephen King expert. He has two King-related columns.