Peter Jackson was at the San Diego Comic Convention, talking about a lot of things including Tintin.
Jackson’s work on Tintin is still in early stages but he insists that the films are being made by people who are true Tintin fans. He also said that the design of the film was intended to be as true to creator Herge’s original designs as possible but with added textures. Otherwise, he indicated that they might as well just do a live-action version, which neither he nor Steven Spielberg (who is directing the first film) wanted.
Different blogs have picked up different comment from the event. Chud is reporting:
Jackson said that he was still trying to figure out which book he wanted to adapt, and that he would probably be rereading the entire Tintin series to make his decision.
That said, Jackson mentioned that he was currently leaning towards either The Seven Crystal Balls or Prisoners of the Sun. It’s likely that he would actually adapt both, as Prisoners of the Sun is the sequel to The Seven Crystal Balls. The story involves an Incan curse brought on by the discovery of a Peruvian mummy.
As the first film will combine The Crab with the Golden Claws and The Secret of the Unicorn into one story, would Jackson really do anything other than Red Rackham’s Treasure? Failing to do so would miss the opportunity to introduce the character of Professor Calculus whose first appearance is in Red Rackham’s Treasure. It would also beg the question ‘What is the Secret of the Unicorn?’ if it is not a map for Tintin & Haddock to follow? Are they going to skip the whole adventure to the Caribbean and have Tintin solve the puzzle whilst imprisoned in Marlinspike’s cellar?
However, if Jackson is doing Red Rackham’s Treasure he had better get a move on. With multi-part films (Lord of the Rings, for example) the release dates of the films need to be relatively close, no more than a year apart, other audiences will lose interest in the project. With Secret of the Unicorn coming out in late 2011, a release date of summer or late 2012 for the second film is logical. This means the script needs to be written and the cast scheduled for motion capture.
UPDATE: More information and quotes.
As for the second movie, he reveals that production is pencilled in for the second half of 2010, a year before the first one’s release. “I’ve got to get through The Hobbit first, then we’ll move onto that. At the moment we’re keeping our options open, but I am very partial to The Seven Crystal Balls/ Prisoners Of The Sun. I’m going to read them all again before deciding which to have a go at.”
The EW interview quoted above adds some details. The first Tintin film, directed by Steven Spielberg, is currently at the first-cut stage. It will take two years to do all the animation and rendering needed for the final product. (The film has to be edited first because no one wants to pay for expensive rendering on shots that won’t end up in the final cut.) Peter drops the remark that he hasn’t decided which Tintin books to include in the second film, and that he and Spielberg would like to do a longer series if the first films succeed.