Riding on a big wave of positive reviews, the Steven Spielberg-directed, Peter Jackson-produced "The Adventures Of Tintin" begins opening internationally tomorrow and Sony and Paramount will be watching the ticket sales closely. The motion-capture-fueled project was always planned as a trilogy, with plan being that Spielberg would direct the first film, Jackson the second film with the duties on the final installment still not quite mapped out. However, while audiences overseas are familiar with Hergé's animated hero, he's less well known stateside and it will take a strong showing at the box-office to get the followup moving. However, if the early word is any indication, whether you grew up following Tintin in the comics or are brand new to the cowlick haired adventurer, Spielberg and Jackson's film is a pure delight and we called it "one of the best times at the movies we’ve had in a long while." So undoubtedly, the filmmakers are confident that "The Adventures Of Tintin" will connect with audiences as the sequel is already on the horizon.
In the latest print edition of The Hollywood Reporter, the trade caught up with the directors to talk about the film, the asked Jackson directly if he'll helm the sequel once he's done with "The Hobbit" to which he simply replied, "Yes."
Spielberg elaborated that while they don't have the greenlight yet for a followup, the studios have allowed them to develop it to the point where it's good to go. "[Sony and Paramount] were willing to do one movie with us and then give us the financial werewithal to develop a script, do all the visual storyboards and get it really in launch position. So we can launch pretty quickly on a second movie. The script is already written," explained Spielberg.
And indeed, last fall author Anthony Horowitz -- best known as the creator of the Alex Rider series of young-adult spy novels, as well as being a veteran of U.K. TV work like “Foyle’s War” -- was hired on to write the sequel, tentatively titled "The Adventures Of Tintin: Prisoners of the Sun.” Like the forthcoming film, which incorporates two Tintin adventures -- “The Secret of the Unicorn” and “Red Rackham’s Treasure” -- Horowitz worked off both “Prisoners of the Sun” and its predecessor “The Seven Crystal Balls,” which begins the story. The plot involves Tintin and his BFF Captain Haddock investigating a strange illness that has befallen seven explorers who have discovered an Incan tomb, before traveling to Peru to get to the bottom of the mystery. Once again, a story ripe for Spielberg and Jackson to have some pure fun up on the big screen.
But looking beyond that, Spielberg remains coy about coming on board again for the third and presumably final chapter. "We haven't talked about that," he said. "But I had such a wonderful time working on this; it liberated me as a director because I was able to run around by myself. It was a big collaboration, but at the same time it was one of the most personal experiences I've had. When you can actually hold the camera and create your shots, you don't have a lighting team, a key grip electricians..."
"It's like the old days with Super-8," Jackson said, finishing the thought.
Either way, a follow-up to "The Adventures Of Tintin" would be a few years off as the two "The Hobbit" films are likely to keep Jackson busy for a while yet. And as for Spielberg, he's already got "Lincoln" and "Robopocalypse" set for his next two efforts, along with countless other scripts and projects jockeying for his attention, so another 'Tintin' is likely a distant thought at the moment. But if the first entry is the big hit it should be, you'll likely be seeing more of Tintin, Snowy, Captain Haddock and everyone else on the big screen in the years to come.