Steven Spielberg has gained a partner in Peter Jackson to fulfill his long desire to bring beloved Belgian comicstrip TINTIN, which was created by Georges Remi (aka Herge), to the big screen. The duo will produce a trilogy of films for DreamWorks while each director will helm at least one of the three films, which will be presented in full digital 3-D via the performance capture system at Weta Digital, which was developed by Lightstorm and Giant Studios. Joining the duo as a producer will be Kathleen Kennedy.
Apparently, Spielberg and Jackson have been developing the project for some time. WETA Digital has created a 20-minute test of performance capture versions of Remi's characters.
"From our earliest conversations, Steven and I were intrigued about the potential of developing this performance capture technique even further, to apply a real actor's performance to computer generated versions of Herge's vast cast of characters," said Jackson. "For well over a year now, artists at Weta have been quietly testing the theory of creating life-like reproductions of Tintin, Captain Haddock, Professor Calculus and many of the other core cast -- faithfully replicating Herge's original designs, but not rendering them as cartoons, or the familiar looking computer animated characters -- instead we're making them look photorealistic, the fibers of their clothing, the pores of their skin and each individual hair. They look exactly like real people -- but real Herge people!"
"After looking at over 20 minutes of test footage produced by Weta, Steven and I decided to add that one last element that will totally immerse the audience in the excitement of Tintin's adventures -- and that is to produce these movies in full digital 3-D. Just the thought of it makes me feel like a kid again. I'm thrilled beyond belief that Steven invited me onboard to help realize his long held dream of bringing Tintin to life on the big screen."
"Herge's characters have been reborn as living beings, expressing emotion and a soul which goes far beyond anything we've seen to date with computer animated characters," 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 honor the distinctive look of the characters and world that Herge created."
For the trilogy, Spielberg and Jackson have chosen three stories from the 23-book series, THE ADVENTURES OF TINTIN, which was published between 1929 and 1976. The series has sold more than 200 million copies worldwide.
Tintin is a junior reporter who will go to any length to track down a story. His allies include the white dog Snowy, the crazed Captain Haddock, the perplexed Professor Calculus and the magnificent buffoons, the Thompson Twins.
DreamWorks obtained the TINTIN film rights from Herge Studios, which is run by president Fanny Rodwell, Remi's widow.