The Tintin Movie Geared for Sucess with Jackson and Spielberg On Board
by Holly Franklin
Tintin is finally being made into a movie. Tintin is being turned into movie by the dream pairing of Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson. Spielberg and Jackson will actually be making three Tintin movies back to back as Jackson accomplished with the Lord of the Rings Trilogy.The films will be shot back to back for logistical and financial expediency; they will come rattling off the production line in 2009. Spielberg has been a Tintin fan since he was a small boy and the upcoming filming brings an end to a 25 year mission to get a film made. Spielberg was first approached back in 1982 by Georges Remi (who initials GR were reversed to form the pen name Hergé). Remi sent out emissaries and it resulted in a three year option for Spielberg's Amblin Entertainment in 1984. It was reported that after the success of ET Spielberg hired Melissa Mathison who helped write ET and was then Harrison Ford 's wife to compose an African adventure in which Tintin overcame ivory hunters in a classic Tintin yarn.
This would be a role reversal for Tintin who had in a previous tale cheerfully blown up a rhinoceros with a stick of dynamite. It could never quite come to fruition. One of the main reasons for this was due to the fact that Spielberg never believed he had the technology to pull off his vision satisfactorily. It was also at the same time Spielberg turned to his attention to his next undertaking that of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Rumour has it that some of the story lines for The Last Crusade were taken form the Tintin movie penned by Mathison.
Spielberg has also hinted that Indiana Jones chronicles were very much influenced by Tintin's boy-scout ethos. It has been noticed that the whole idea of creating a Tintin movie has resurfaced at the same time Spielberg has been absorbed in the fourth installment of Indiana Jones.
During those years when Amblin Entertainment had the option for the Tintin movie there were rumours about who would play Tintin. First there was obviously Henry Thomas who had starred in ET. Next there was a young Leonardo DiCaprio and then unbelievably Christopher Lambert and Jean-Claude Van Damme. As for the role of Captain Haddock the names of Jack Nicholson, Dustin Hoffman and Richard Gere were mooted. Then for the role of Bianca Castafiore the opera diva and the only major role for a female was linked to Courtney Love. It is now known that Spielberg and his people never truly got close to making the movie back then.
Although there was a lot of rumour and speculation the only truth is that Spielberg's interest did wane and other directors came into the equation to make the film. Claude Berri (who had produced a successful live action version of Asterix) was rumoured to be interested as was Roman Polanski. Then Warner Brothers entered the chase. The Hergé Foundation declined Warner Brothers' offer because Warner Brothers guarantees regarding creative integrity failed to convince the Foundationy. When Warner Brothers left the scene the project was back at square one.
Spielberg and Jackson then got together and went into discussions with Moulinsart who in the intervening time took over the rights to Tintin. Eventually a deal was struck after long discussions. Spielberg and Jackson are both set to direct one film each with the third to be decided at a later date.
Jackson's special effects team Weta Digital have been working on using 3-D animation to bring the junior reporter and his trusty dog Snowy to life. Jackson Weta effects house back in New Zealand took more than a year to knock-up a 20 minute demo that wowed backers. Jackson said "We are making the character look photorealistic; the fibres of their clothing, the pores of their skin and each individual hair. It is possible that the work, certainly the first one will start next year".
This will be when Spielberg finishes Indiana Jones 4 and Jackson his adaptation of Alice Sebold's The Lovely Bones. Jackson 's input with the effects made possible by Weta has invigorated Spielberg who is a lifelong Tintin fan. Spielberg said "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 honour the distinctive look of the characters and the world Hergé created."
The deal allows them to use a back catalogue of 23 albums Hergé published between 1929 and 1976. Speculation is now rife as to which album will be turned into a film first. Although we would like to speculate that it is unlikely that the film we be made from an album before 1940 because that would mean Captain Haddock would not be involved.
Captain Haddock is going to be very popular search topic as the Tintin movie draws near.
About the Author
Holly Franklin has been a big Tintin fan for a number of years. She is very much looking forward to the new Tintin movie trilogy due for release in 2009.
(See the Bookmarc's BookmarecsOnline BookBlog article The Adventures of Tintin in Film regarding updated film release dates.)
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