Wednesday, May 16, 2007

TINTIN comes to the big screen!

Less than a year ago, Heart & Mind published an article I wrote about the value of the Tintin books for wholesome family reading. I am delighted now to report on the news that Peter Jackson and Steven Spielberg are teaming up to make three films about the most beloved Belgium reporter and world adventurer. It has always been a source of disappointment to me that American families are not familiar with these stories... this will no longer be the case!

Spielberg, Peter Jackson plan 'Tintin' tales

Associated Press

LOS ANGELES -- Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson each plan to direct at least one film in a series of three movies based on the "Tintin" adventures, a collection of illustrated books about a globe-trotting Belgian reporter.

The Academy Award-winning filmmakers each will direct one of the first two "Tintin" films and will determine later who will make the third, Spielberg spokesman Marvin Levy said Tuesday.

A timetable for production and release of the films had not been set, Levy said.

Spielberg and Jackson have chosen three stories from the two-dozen Tintin books created by Georges Remi, who published the books under the pen name Herge.

The films will be created through motion-capture technology, in which digital renderings are made of performances by live actors, with computer imagery added to create a combination of live action layered with digital animation.

Jackson used similar technology to create his giant ape in "King Kong" and the Gollum character in "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy.

"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," Spielberg said in a news release.

For more than a year, Jackson's Weta Digital effects outfit has been testing the technology to re-create the look of the Tintin characters, he said.

The reproductions are lifelike, "faithfully replicating Herge's original designs, but not rendering them as cartoons, or the familiar looking computer-animated characters," Jackson said. "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 Herge people."

Spielberg producing partner Kathleen Kennedy will produce the films along with Spielberg and Jackson.

The announcement came just a week before the 100th anniversary of the birth of Herge, who died in 1983.

Read even more here.

Update: Here is a page from one of the Tintin stories showing a very Catholic reference... enjoy!


Christine said...

Thank you for sharing this wonderful news! As you know, I grew up with Tintin, as did my father, and my children are doing the same. Tintin may still become familiar to American children.

Now, our local book stores need to start selling the Tintin books in the children's section of the library, rather than in the adult's section of the store.

Ana Braga-Henebry said...

Hi Christine! My college son thinks is all of the drinking (by Capt Haddock) that makes it belong in the adults' section... It's a topsy turvy world. I think of many bad books that live in the children's section and yet Tintin is absent because of one character. And, Tintin himself never drinks, has a well formed conscience, and even admonishes the captain from time to time. And the religious references... Did you ever notice in the end of Rackham Treasure where he finds the treasure? At the Eagle that stands for St John the Evangelist! I am scanning the page and adding it here.

Suzanne Temple said...

Since my mother is French Canadian, I grew up on Tintin as well and my children are, too. We love him!

Anne (aussieannie) said...

I know this is a posting from last year Ana, but I couldn't let it pass by without sharing my feelings on Tintin - HE IS WELL LOVED DOWN HERE! - you can always find Tintin in every public library and school library and so many Australian children have enjoyed them all - who could not love Tintin? If you want a fabulous laugh and learn more about cultures/geography/history and much, much more, he's essential, isn't he? We are very much looking forward to the movie when it is finally released.

Ana Braga-Henebry said...

So are we! Thnaks for commenting! I grew up with Tintin and I am happy to share him with the kids. See under my articles for Heart & Mind on my sidebar-- an article I wrote about Tintin.