The Adventures of Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn is an upcoming 2011 American performance capture 3D film based on The Adventures of Tintin, a series of comic books created by Belgian artist Georges “Hergé” Remi. It is directed by Steven Spielberg, produced by Peter Jackson, and written by Steven Moffat, Edgar Wright andJoe Cornish. The script is based on three of the stories: The Crab with the Golden Claws, The Secret of the Unicorn and Red Rackham’s Treasure.
Spielberg first acquired rights to Tintin after Hergé’s death in 1983, and re-optioned them in 2002. Filming was due to begin in October 2008 for a 2010 release, but release was delayed to 2011 after Universal opted out of producing the film with Paramount, who provided $30 million on pre-production. Sony chose to co-produce the films. The delay resulted in Thomas Sangster, who had been cast as Tintin, departing from the project. Producer Peter Jackson, whose company Weta Digital is providing the computer animation, intends to direct a sequel. Spielberg and Jackson also hope to co-direct a third film.
The film is currently in post-production.
The Adventures of Tintin will be the first animated movie directed by Spielberg. Although Spielberg is not completely unfamiliar with digital cinematography, the director has firmly stated that he still prefers working with film.
Tintin and his friends discover directions to a sunken ship commanded by Capt. Haddock’s ancestor and go off on a treasure hunt.
Filming began on January 26, 2009, and the release date was moved from 2010 to 2011.Spielberg wrapped his film – after 32 days of shooting – in March 2009. Jackson was present for the first week of filming and supervised the rest of the shoot via a specially made iChat videoconferencing program. Simon Pegg said Jackson’s voice would “be coming over the Tannoy like God.” During filming, various directors including Guillermo del Toro, Stephen Daldry and David Fincher visited. Spielberg would try to treat the film like live-action, moving his camera around. He revealed, “Every movie I made, up until Tintin, I always kept one eye closed when I’ve been framing a shot,” because he wanted to see the movie in 2-D, the way viewers would. “On Tintin, I have both of my eyes open.” Jackson took the hands-on approach to directing Weta Digital during postproduction, which Spielberg will supervise through videoconferencing. Jackson will also begin development for the second film for which he will be officially credited as director.Spielberg says “there will be no cell phones, no TV sets, no modern cars. Just timeless Europe.” His cinematographer Janusz Kamiński serves as lighting consultant for Weta, and Jackson said the film will look “film noirish, very atmospheric”. Spielberg finished six weeks of additional motion-capture filming in mid-July.
Sony will release the film during late October and early November 2011 in Continental Europe, Eastern Europe, Latin America, and India. Paramountwill distribute the film in Asia, New Zealand, the UKand all other English speaking territories. They will release the film in the United Stateson December 23, 2011.
A video game entitled The Adventures of Tintin: The Game is to be released to coincide with the release date of the film. Game developer/editor Ubisoft acquired the rights.