Two superpowers are coming together to bring the comic-strip hero Tintin to the big screen. Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson will alternate producing and directing three movies based on Georges Remi's Tintin with WETA Digital onboard to bring the story to life.
The three Tintin movies will be 3-D productions utilizing the performance capture technology. Jackson, Spielberg and Kathleen Kennedy will produce the films.
Jackson was quoted as saying, “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.”
Remi's Tintin stories, which he wrote under the name of Hergé, follow the adventures of a junior reporter and his little white dog Snowy who travel the world following stories. Jackson and Spielberg have selected three stories from Remi's Tintin series to make into feature films.
In a statement issued by DreamWorks, Spielberg discussed how they will be bringing Remi's work to the screen. “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 Hergé created.”
The filmmakers plan to use state of the art performance capture technology on the film series. Jackson's very familiar with the use of the technology as his WETA Digital developed it to create Gollum from Andy Serkis' performance in the Lord of the Rings trilogy and Kong from Serkis' work in Jackon's King Kong.
“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 Hergé’s vast cast of characters,” said Peter Jackson in the press release announcing the project. “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 Hergé’s original designs, but not rendering them as cartoons, or the familiar looking computer animated characters – instead we’re making them look photo realistic, the fibers of their clothing, the pores of their skin and each individual hair. They look exactly like real people – but real Hergé people!”
Spielberg added, "We’ll be casting actors to play these characters, with all their performance choices accurately captured and applied to amazingly organic dimensional versions of Hergé’s line drawings - the effect is startling. Hergé’s characters have been reborn as living beings, expressing emotion and displaying a soul which goes far beyond anything we've seen to date with computer animated characters. The use of capturing the performance of actors on a stage, allows Peter and I to direct these films just as we would with any other film we were making – they won’t have the feel of animation – they will have the style of live action films."
The Tintin news comes on the heels of the announcement that DreamWorks made a deal with Jackson for The Lovely Bones.
DreamWorks confirmed the Tintin movies will adhere to the same time period as Remi's books.