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Updates on Spielberg and Jackson's Adventures of Tintin

by
March 7, 2009
Source: Variety

Tintin

A typical film shoot can last upwards of 4 to 6 months, if it's a big budget production, but this week Steven Spielberg will wrap up a short 32 days of shooting on The Adventures of Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn. The reason it was so short is because it's all being done with motion capture, which means they can get a lot more shooting done a lot quicker because they don't have to change the position of the camera and reset certain shots to capture different angles. From here, Spielberg will hand the project over to producer Peter Jackson, who will work on the special effects and CGI at Weta for the next 18 months.

Steven Spielberg and Peter JacksonVariety ran a rather interesting update yesterday on this project, addressing how quietly they're approaching this, which is a bit odd because not that many people in America really know much about or really care about Tintin at all. "It's extremely difficult to explain to someone unless they are standing here next to me," producer Kathleen Kennedy said from the Los Angeles set. "And usually then their reaction is, 'Oh my god.'" Unfortunately, no press were allowed on the set, which means we've got to wait another year or more before we actually get to see anything from the production at all.

The other big issue they address is who is more responsible for the end result. Spielberg only shot for 32 days, while Jackson will be working for 18 months in post-production. Spielberg will get the directing credit on the first film, which is where all the questions arise. But realistically, I don't think Jackson will mind, especially because he's going to be directing the sequel - if it gets made. Oddly enough, that follow-up hasn't been given the go ahead just yet either. "Paramount and Sony, the first film's co-financiers, have yet to greenlight a followup to the $120 million project and are waiting for a script before making a decision."

Obviously it's not that black and white. Spielberg will have a video conferencing feed to Weta and will be working closely with Jackson. Additionally, Spielberg and Kennedy are handling more of the marketing side of things, which is being coordinated by Paramount, who is distributing the film in all English speaking countries. This will definitely be a very interesting production to follow for many reasons, including seeing whether or not this whole project turns out to be as lucrative as Spielberg and Jackson are hoping. They're got a long road ahead of them, and you can be sure we'll let you know how their journey progresses.

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  • Dave Lister, J.M.C.
    This project seems like a real blank sheet of canvas to me. I don't know anything about the character(s) or the story; so I can't possibly predict how this might go. Apparently the studios are apprehensive as well, since the names Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson aren't enough to greenlight the next script.
  • Johnbo
    I think this will be a true test of a directors marketability. I don't know a ton about the project but as far as I can tell there aren't any A-list actors and the story is much more popular in Europe with a significantly smaller audience in America. I hope this movie does well but it's difficult to judge without anything substantial to judge it on.
  • Fuelbot
    Guillermo Del Toro moves to New Zealand. Steven Speilberg video conferences. Hm.
  • AD
    I think there might be marketability issues in the US... but this film will do HUGE box office internationally. It should do pretty well in Canada too I'd suggest. A lot of people here either read the books in a school library or saw some of the animated films on TV. I mean, the cheaply producted Asterix movies do huge box office in france and they aren't particularly great films... but at least they capture the spirit of the books.
  • moif
    Good old Tintin. I'm looking forward to seeing this. Spielbergs direction and Weta's special effects ought to work really well. The less said about Peter Jackson though, the better.
  • Colca
    Well I'm in Canada and I can say it will most likely to great business here. All this talk I'm hearing about Tintin being unknown confused me in the past, because growing up here the books and the cartoons were very well known. I don't think it matters that Tintin isn't well known in America, because the stories are extremely marketable on their own. Even though I'm not the biggest fan of Spielberg and Jackson lately. They're the perfect matches for this project. Tintin is a little bit of Indiana Jones, a little bit of Sherlock Holmes. I'm really excited and have complete faith in the project.
  • Timothy
    One thing that should be mentioned, I think, when regarding Tintin's alleged unmarketability, is that almost every film Pixar has made in recent years has been a new creation, something unfamiliar to audiences around the world, and yet it has done great. Same story with a lot of Dreamwork's creations. Why, then, do you think Tintin won't be perceived as just another great animated film and people will go see it whether they're familiar with the story or not?
  • Fisherr
    I think it's something good for Spielberg and Jackson to work together, i believe we will see a good movie.
  • teyhtr
    #7. I think it's because Pixar has a reputation. Plus it's a disney movie. It's almost become tradition for movie audiences to see the next cgi flick pixar makes because their track record is amazing.

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