Its being heavily rumored but not yet confirmed that Andy Serkis will play Captain Haddock. Serkis made is name playing Gollum in Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings. As Peter Jackson is directing one of the Tintin movies and his production company is doing all the CGI, I’m not surprised that the excellent Andy Serkis is on-board.
The Inveresk Street Ingrate has an excellent suggestion about which book to make as the third film.
Tintin And The Mystery Of The Golden Fleece plus Tintin And The Blue Oranges, the first and second live action Tintin films made in 1960’s seem to be available in Australia. No sign of them having a UK or US release.
Le Tintin Movie, despite its name, is an English language blog about the Tintin Movie.
Crooked Timber has a great post and an excellent discussion in the comments on advice to (American) Librarians about Tintin in America
Picked up from the Crooked Timber post is this page of what Captain Haddock says in the Danish editions of the Tintin books including “Pocket-Mussolini! Mackerel-eater! Carnival pirate! Fatbladder!” .
Dom Joly is mad about Tintin.
A Tintin fire escape on Flickr.
Casting for the Tintin Movie has begun and we can be sure that The Secret of the Unicorn / Red Rackham’s Treasure will be the basis for one of the films at least. They are casting the Bird Brothers, Nestor, Sakharine (one of the people after the model ship), Aristides Silk (the pick pocket) and Red Rackham himself who are all in The Secret of the Unicorn. Mrs Finch (Tintin’s Landlady) and two kidnappers (presumably Allen & Ernie from the cast list) have a seen on page 35 of Secret of the Unicorn. Presumably Mr Crabtree is the market stall owner Tintin buy’s the ship from.
In the Crab With The Golden Claws, Mrs Finch makes an appearance plus there are Lt. Delacourt and Ahmed from the fort in Afghar (page 33). Omar Ben Salaad is the leader of the smugglers. The unnamed seaplane pilot & co-pilot are probably the ones who attack Tintin & Capt Haddock.
Some roles are new and not in the books. Barnaby (an American Interpol Inspector), Merrydew (a rival reporter) and Wetherbuck (Tintin’s Editor). Merrydew and Wetherbuck will possibly appear in multiple films so presumably they have been added to make Tintin’s world a bit more believable. Barnaby may be replacement for Bunji Kuraki, the Japanese police inspector who is kidnapped by the smugglers.
In The Crab With The Golden Claw, Tintin meets Captain Haddock for the first time and in The Secret of the Unicorn, the pair first meet Professor Calculus. By the end of Red Rackham’s Treasure, Captain Haddock owns Marlinspike Hall so this makes a nice development of characters across the films and nicely sets things up for any future films. It is still not clear if this is the cast and plot-lines for just the Jackson and Spielberg films or whether these will cover all three films.
Still, it looks like I was wrong about my predictions of which books would be made in to the films.
Its been reported that casting has begun in LA for the Tintin Movie. It is believed that the following parts are up for grabs.
- Aristides Silk, a seemingly friendly British or international pickpocket with a memorable face who is balding and has a mustache
- Allen & Ernie, two seamen smugglers disguised as workmen;
- Barnaby, a fat and sweaty American Interpol inspector who’s better at his job than he looks;
- Lt. Delacourt, the amiable, pipe-smoking British commander of the Afghar outpost who helps Tintin and Captain Haddock;
- Max & Gerontium Bird, these brothers’ businessman-like appearance bely the fact that they’re gun smugglers on the Karaboudjan;
- Merrydew, an the anxious, nerdy and envious reporter rival of Tintin’s;
- Mr. Crabtree, a stall keeper/vendor at the Old Street Market;
- Mrs. Finch, Tintin’s landlady with a fierce, beaky face and personality to match;
- Nestor, a kindly, efficient butler who works for the Bird brothers and finds himself in troubled circumstances;
- Omar Ben Salaad, a larger-than-life arms dealer with 14 wives and a commanding voice;
- The pilot and co-pilot of Omar Ben Salaad’s seaplane;
- Red Rackham, described as tall and thin, larger than life with a sinister edge;
- Sakharine, a tall, thin and mysterious stranger with a foreign accent that can’t be placed;
- Ahmed, an obedient soldier under Lt. Delacourt’s command;
- Wetherbuck, Tintin’s big, bellowing, cigar-chomping editor and mentor;
- Thomson & Thompson, two ineffective, narrow-minded policemen described as more stupid than mean, moronic yet pretentious, comical and clumsy. They are identical and can only be distinguished by their mustaches.
It possible that Wetherbuck, Merrydew, Nestor, Mrs. Finch and Thomson & Thompson will appear in multiple films, while one actor could play both Thomson & Thompson.
Motion capture will take place for 30 days in the US and 30 days in New Zealand allowing both Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson to shoot their footage. Afterwards, Jackson’s Weta Workshop will process the motion capture and produce the final film.
The rumor mill about who will play Tintin is picking up. Latest to be linked to the role is British actor Simon Pegg. Best known to international audiences as the star and writer of Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz and is soon to be appearing in next Star Trek film playing a young Scotty. Before becoming a big movie star, he co-wrote and co-starred in the British TV comedy Spaced where he played a comic reading, computer game playing, SF fan. This wasn’t much of a stretch for the computer game playing, comic reading, SF Fan Simon Pegg who drew heavily on his own life as inspiration for the script. He has also appeared in an episode of Dr Who, though not one written by the Tintin Movie and Dr Who script writer Steven Moffat.
At a special luncheon with bloggers and online-writers, Steven Spielberg talked at length about upcoming projects including Tintin. Spielberg confirmed that Tintin will be all motion capture rather than pure animation. This is the technique that was used for Gollum in Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy. It creates a base of highly realistic movements onto which the directors can build their CGI characters.
At the same event, Spielberg also talked about who would direct the third film. Peter Jackson and Speilberg are currently down to direct the one of the Tintin movies each. No names of alternative directors were mentioned but if they cannot find someone for the third film, then Jackson and Spielberg will co-direct it.
Ok, it isn’t actually Dr Who, its Steven Moffat who has written several of the best Dr Who episodes. This information comes from the news agency Reuters but its not clear how official it is.
Moffat is one of the best British TV script writers. His first show was BAFTA award winning Press Gang for which he wrote all 43 episodes. He then went on to write episodes of Murder Most Horrid as well as the series Joking Apart, Chalk and the award winning comedy Coupling. Jekyll, his retelling of the The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde was on UK TV this summer. He is a lifelong Dr Who fan and has landed a dream job in writting two episodes in each series, two of which have won Hugo awards.
I cannot be happier with Steven Moffat as the writer of the Tintin Movies as Coupling is one of my all time favorite comedy shows. He is incredibly talented, capable of producing moving and action packed scripts. Most importantly for tackling Tintin is that he understands how to reinvent existing characters in a way that is new and exciting but is also sympathetic to the original material.
The Times has an article on the digital 3-D technology that the Tintin Movies may be shot in.
The new digital 3-D technology is different. Images are captured in much the same way – two cameras film the same shot – but they are projected differently. The old way was to project the two films from the separate projectors simultaneously, so that, through the glasses, each eye would see a different set of moving images. The brain would merge these stereoscopic pictures, giving the illusion of 3-D depth.
To see the film in 3-d the audience has to wear polarized glasses and the cinema has to be especially equipped the projector and a special screen. Wikipedia has a good article on the technology: Real D Cinema.
The technique that Real D uses is similar to the traditional method of 3-D imaging using polarized glasses. The traditional method works by projecting two differently polarized images onto the same screen, which are then filtered by polarized glasses worn by the audience. This type of 3-D imaging requires two projectors. Real-D however uses a single projector that alternately projects the left-eye frame and right-eye frame, and appropriately polarizes these frames using a liquid-crystal screen placed in front of the projector lens. The polarized glasses make sure each eye sees only “its own” picture. The very high framerate, which is 72fps per eye, makes sure the image looks continuous. In Real D Cinema, each frame is projected three times to reduce flicker, as the source video is usually 24fps. The result is a 3-D picture that seems to extend behind and in front of the screen itself.
I’m not sure I like the idea of Tintin in 3-D. Its gimmicky and in previous 3-d films, its adds nothing to the film. In fact its normally a distraction to film makers who get obsessed with having things jump out of the screen. On the plus side, as Tintin will be CGI, its a relatively simple process to create a standard 2-d version and a special 3-d version. This might help the directors stay focused on making a good film and not an technological experiment.
According to FilmStew.com:
..there will be no honey bunny for Tintin in the first of three motion capture animation films now being planned for 2009 release by the formidable tandem of Peter Jackson and Steven Spielberg.
This according to an anonymous Moulinsart estate company source quoted in London’s The Times newspaper. Says he or she: “I’m sure the accountants in Hollywood would love some of that in there, but they can’t do it. We have approval over that just to make sure they don’t totally ruin it . . . But there is room for some artistic license.”
No Love Interest for Tintin