Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson team up to make ‘Tintin’

 

Dreamworks has just announced that Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson will team up to direct a trilogy of films based on the popular Tintin comic books. The series of comic books by Belgian artist Herge (real name Georges Hemi) is about an intrepid boy reporter, Tintin, whose adventures around the world put him in grave danger with his equally feisty dog, Snowy. He is often accompanied on most adventures by a host of other characters that include a cynical and lunatic sailor called Captain Haddock and the ingenious Professor Calculus.  

Both Spielberg and Jackson will direct one film from the trilogy with the third director still up in the air. The directing duo have already picked three stories from the 23 books that make up the entire ‘Adventures of Tintin’ series. Spielberg will most likely focus on Tintin as his next project after he wraps Indiana Jones 4 by this fall while Jackson will free up his schedule by early next year once he finishes The Lovely Bones, Alice Sebold’s haunting tale told from the point of view of a dead girl. The Tintin project has long has been a passion project for Spielberg who has held various rights to the series over the last 25 years. And snatching Jackson to be part of the project is a coup for Spielberg, who’s known for attracting the best talent. 

Jackson has already produced a short 20-minute test reel to bring Tintin to life through his WETA studios. Jackson promises that the look of the characters will not be cartoonish: 

Instead, we're making them look photorealistic; the fibers of their clothing, the pores of their skin and each individual hair. They look exactly like real people — but real Herge people!" 

Spielberg and Jackson have also decided to make Tintin with 3-D performance capture technology. Spielberg asserts: 

We want Tintin's adventures to have the reality of a live-action film, and yet Peter and I felt that shooting them in a traditional live-action format would simply not honor the distinctive look of the characters and world that Herge created" 

The big question besides the third director is who will play Tintin? It’s a hard role to cast in terms of the look which rules out most middle-aged movie stars. It most likely will be a newcomer, in much the same path taken to cast Hayden Christiansen as Obi-Wan in the Star Wars prequels. 

The enormous popularity of the Tintin books still draws about 2 million new fans every year. Of all the comic books I’ve read growing up, the Tintin series had the most expansive and truly real spirit of adventure in its storytelling and it’s clear to see how it’s remained an attractive cinematic property to many filmmakers. The 23 books published between 1923 and 1976 have sold more than 200 million copies worldwide. According to Times Online, Tintin even surpasses the Lord of the Rings series as the following numbers prove: 

Tintin v Lord of the Rings

Tintin

200 million copies sold worldwide

Translated into 50 languages

23 separate adventures

First volume published in 1929

First stage production in 2005

Lord of the Rings

100 million copies sold worldwide

Translated into 40 languages

3 separate adventures

First volume published in 1954

First stage production in 2006


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