By Oliver Lyttelton | The Playlist May 17, 2011 at 12:28PM
One of the biggest question marks of the year has been Steven Spielberg's "The Adventures of Tintin." The director's coming off the worst film of his career, "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull," and tackling a comic book that few in the U.S. have heard of, in the performance capture manner that's seen the undoing of Robert Zemeckis in recent years, seemed like a fairly risky move, all things considered. And it doesn't help that the film's been mostly shrouded in mystery.
But yesterday, some terrific teaser posters arrived, and now they're joined by the first trailer for the film, which debuted over at Empire and, while we're not totally out of the woods yet, things are looking fairly promising. The clip emphasizes atmosphere over anything else -- perhaps not the best way to introduce the character to American audiences, but backing up what we've heard about the film being a noirish homage, at least in its first half.
For the most part, it looks gorgeous, a definite step up from Zemeckis' work, although it's not entirely surprising considering that Peter Jackson's WETA Digital, who picked up the Oscar for "Avatar," are behind the effects. While we don't get many clear looks at the characters in close-up, presumably because work still continues apace, it seems as though the dead-eyed uncanny valley look has been avoided, but it'll take some more footage before we breath totally easy on that front. Spielberg's usual keen eye is fully in play, however -- we love the detail on the visual gag of detectives Thomson and Thompson spying through the newspaper, for instance.
It's really too early to make a judgment here, but considering Spielberg's track record, as well -- as we said yesterday -- as the screenwriting dream team of Steven Moffat ("Doctor Who," "Sherlock"), Edgar Wright ("Hot Fuzz") and Joe Cornish ("Attack The Block"), we're prepared to give the project the benefit of the doubt for the moment. "The Adventures of Tintin," which seems to have officially dropped its subtitle "The Secret of the Unicorn," stars Jamie Bell (here mo-capped into a terrifyingly close replica of "Michael Clayton" Oscar-winner Tilda Swinton, or, if you prefer, British pop star La Roux), Andy Serkis, Daniel Craig, Simon Pegg, Nick Frost and Toby Jones, among others, and hits Europe on October 26th, before getting a U.S. release on December 23rd. Watch it below, or head to Apple to see it in HD.