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Spielberg and Jackson Talk Tintin, Trailer on Real Steel, Opens in Europe First, Plays Rome Festival

by Anne Thompson and Sophia Savage
October 4, 2011 5:57 AM
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Thompson on Hollywood

The trailer for Steven Spielberg and producer Peter Jackson's 3-D The Adventures of Tintin: the Secret of the Unicorn (Paramount, December 21, 2011) will go out on Friday, attached to Disney/DreamWorks' Real Steel. The performance capture film will play The Rome International Film Festival with Jamie Bell on hand on October 27; Sony will open The Adventures of Tintin in many European countries, where Herge's comic books are better known than they are stateside, on October 26 (Italy is October 28). The film will screen in the Official Selection (out of competition) and in the Alice section of the festival.
“I discovered The Adventures of Tintin in 1981, after the presentation of the film The Raiders of the Lost Ark," says Spielberg. "One of the reviews seemed to believe that my Indiana Jones character had been inspired by Hergé. When I later went out and bought the illustrator's books and read them, I was completely taken by them and immediately thought Tintin's adventures would make great films."

He adds that while Jurassic Park "pushed the boundaries of digital animation techniques," he has never directed an animated film. The stylized film, which resembles the comics --the characters are based on live performances but do not look like the actors--will be submitted as an animated film for Oscar consideration, as Monster House was.

"Working on The Adventures of Tintin," continues Spielberg, "I was aware that in order to do Hergé's work justice I had to be as faithful as possible to his drawings and the chromatic palette that makes them so distinctive, so we had to use the 'motion capture' technique which can essentially 'draw' the actor's movements thus creating a mix between reality and cartoons."

Jackson has been a fan of Tintin since the age of eight: "I've been reading his adventures for a lifetime without ever getting bored." Jackson says he's been wondering how the stories would be produced for the past twenty years. "When in the end Spielberg involved me in the project it was a great moment for me, I'd crowned my childhood dream."

Synopsis is below:

The Adventures of Tintin: the Secret of the Unicorn tells the story of the young and curious reporter Tintin (Jamie Bell) who finds himself in the clutches of the devilish Ivan Ivanovitch Sakharine (Daniel Craig), who is convinced he has stolen a treasure of untold value somehow linked to the nefarious pirate Red Rackham. But with the help of his dog Milou, the sharp-witted and hot-tempered Captain Haddock (Andy Serkis) and the bungling detectives Thompson & Thompson (Simon Pegg and Nick Frost), Tintin will find himself traveling the world searching for the Unicorn, a shipwrecked vessel that perhaps holds the key to a vast fortune and an ancient curse.

Here's more on the film from TOH: Spielberg and Jackson talk VFX at at Weta and at Comic-Con.


  • Kayleen E. Stuck | October 5, 2011 3:05 AMReply

    This is awesome! I can hardly wait for the movie to come out! When do you suppose the American release for the movie soundtrack will be?

  • Brian | October 4, 2011 7:29 AMReply

    It should have been done in 2-D cartoon animation if they wanted to respect the source and "be as faithful as possible to his drawings." Motion capture isn't faithful to ANYTHING!

  • Jay | October 4, 2011 6:54 AMReply

    "in order to do Hergé's work justice I had to be as faithful as possible to his drawings and the chromatic palette that makes them so distinctive, so we had to use the ‘motion capture’ technique"

    Spielberg and Jackson are both outstanding directors, but there are countless films out there - good or bad - that completely invalidate the above statement. Even lousy films like The Phantom or Rocketeer managed to evoke their respective source material through artistic direction alone. Raiders of the Lost Ark did so without the makers having ever *heard* of Hergé's work... The filmmakers should just acknowledge that the MoCap stuff was a mere excuse, for marketing reasons only - to market an asexual, old school hero to the largest demographic - instead of relying on dubious artistic "reasons".

  • Jawsphobia | October 4, 2011 6:35 AMReply

    If reporters are going to write about movies, they should know how to spell the ark in Raiders of the Lost Ark as a minimum job requirement.

    But nice to know Tintin will have a Raiders-like tone.

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