Magnus Martens directs based on Jo Nesbo’s story.

Norwegian director Magnus Martens’ Jackpot (Arme riddere), from Jo Nesbø’s story, has been picked up for international sales by Denmark’s TrustNordisk, to follow up on Headhunters (Hodejegerne), Morten Tyldum’s Nesbø film which has been licensed to more than 25 countries.

Neither film has been released in Scandinavia – Headhunters is scheduled for Aug 26, and Jackpot for Dec 2, both through Nordisk Film Distribusjon.

Jackpot is produced by Martin Sundland and Are Heidenstrøm for Fantefilm, otherwise known for the Cold Prey (Fritt vilt) franchise, and starring Mads Ousdal, Kyrre Hellum, Henrik Mestad and Andreas Cappelen. The action comedy is scripted by Martens from Nesbø’s story.

Sharing a criminal past, three scruffy guys are working at a factory producing plastic Christmas trees in nowhere land on the Norwegian and Swedish border. They are also gamblers who never win – until one day they cash in NOK 1,739,361, which is impossible to divide into four.

Nesbø had not written the story when he pitched the idea to Martens “but he liked it, so I went home and started putting it down; finally a project where I could take in things I had not seen on films but really wanted to, including a hell of a shoot-out in a porn shop,” he said.

Nesbø last month saw his Harry Hole novel, The Snowman (Snømannen), published in the US, to become No 10 on the New The York Times’ bestseller. In Norway, his Hole story, Gjenferd (Phantom), will be out this month.