Jamie Bell, Tintin Movie News

We’ve seen Jamie Bell on-screen as everything from boy reporter to Roman soldier, but I never thought I’d see him as “The Thing” from the Fantastic Four. I’m sure he’s been pressed with loads of questions about his role in the next big Marvel blockbuster-but the main thing French folks from Premiere want to know, of course, is when (or even if) Tintin 2 is going to happen. Jamie Bell was hesitant to give a definite answer:

“I’m crossing my fingers that filming will start towards the end of next year. But that’s not 100 percent confirmed.”

Still, he was confident that the film is still going to happen:

“The project is still current.”

The projects that were clogging Jackson’s schedule are finally out of the way, so hopefully Jamie’s projected timeframe comes true. If it does though, that 2016 IMDB date will have to be pushed back at least a year, in the very best of scenarios.

This means that at least 6 years will pass between the first film’s release and Tintin 2. I can’t speak for the rest of the world, but I hope they do a much better job marketing the film in the US this time around-what’s left of the film’s memory in the States is quickly fading.

Source: Premiere

Andy Serkis, Bianca Castafioe, Captain Haddock, Daniel Craig, Herge, Jamie Bell, Nick Frost, Paramount, Peter Jackson, Reviews, Simon Pegg, Snowy, Steven Spielberg, The Crab with the Golden Claws, The Secret of the Unicorn, Thomson & Thompson, Tintin, Tintin Movie Cast & Crew, Tintin Movie News, Uncategorized

For those of you who may have found this through google or some other way and are not a regular follower of this site, I can assure you that while you will find many, many reviews of ”The Adventures of Tintin” on the internet, you will find very few written by somebody who has been an avid Tintin fan for years to the extent that he has been following every last piece of information available about the progress of this movie since it was first announced almost five years ago that Spielberg was going to pick up his old project and finally make a Tintin movie. Here you will find two such reviews. One is Chris’ review, the guy who started this blog and wrote everything until his schedule got busy and allowed me to write posts. Shortly after the movie premiered over in Europe he wrote a great review for both the Tintin fan and the man who’s never heard of him until now alike. I recommend you check it out here

The other such review of course is mine. I’m probably the biggest American Tintin fan you’ll ever meet. For those of you clueless people out there, Tintin is a very well known comic the Belgian George Remi (pen name Herge) drew from the late 1920s to the 70s. Tintin is a reporter that always finds himself on incredible adventures with his faithful white fox terrier, Snowy. He’s never been popular in the USA, but just about every other country in the world has heard of him. If you think that’s an exaggeration, check out how well Tintin did in the box offices over seas. I’ve been looking forward to seeing this movie much more than I’ve ever looked forward to see any other movie in my life. Did it live up to my expectations? In a world where movie tickets are expensive, is it worth your cash? What if you’re not a Tintin fan? Will you enjoy it?

I hate spoilers as much as you do so need not worry about reading any here. First of all, if you are new to Tintin you will not be lost. The movie does a terrific job of introducing the movie’s main characters. If you are a fan, you will recognise all of them as the characters you know, not as some horribly distorted version of them Hollywood threw together. Everybody making this movie went to great lengths to make sure that the original stories and artwork were respected as much as possible. The movie actually combines two Tintin albums, ”The crab with the golden claws” and ”The Secret of the Unicorn (there’s also a little bit of ”Red Rackhams treasure” in there, but not much), but you’d never know they weren’t one fluent storyline if you’ve never read the books because they are so magnificently blended together. As a matter of fact, while there are certain things that surely only a Tintin fan will appreciate when they watch the film, there are some things only somebody who is not at all familiar with the storyline will experience fully. I had very few problems while I was watching the movie, but one of them was really my own fault: I know the story of ”The Secret of the Unicorn” like the back of my hand. As a result I already knew almost everything that Tintin discovers little by little throughout the film. At some points I thought that the mystery side of the movie had been a bit overdramatized and that Tintin was taking just a little too long to put all the pieces together (quite literally), but again, the answer to the mystery is obvious once you already know the secret. But even when I knew what was coming, I still thoroughly enjoyed the film. There are lots of hilarious lines in the film, many straight from the books but most just clever new lines the excellent writers came up with. Don’t let yourself be fooled into thinking that actors only did the voices in this film: every movement from their bodies and faces has captured by computer, and the animators then did an excellent job of putting ”digital makeup” on. Jamie Bell did a very good job as Tintin. Some people have complained in other reviews that the movie is so action packed there is little time for Tintin’s character to be really developed. But the truth is that we know very little about Tintin, and Jamie Bell did a great job at not answering those questions for us. We don’t know who his boss is or who his parents are. We don’t really care. What we do know is that once he sets his mind to do something, he heroicly keeps going against all odds no matter where in the world danger takes him. And the movie does a wonderful job at taking us on the adventure with him.Pretty much every frame of the movie is a piece of art…You could get a sense of what I’m talking about by checking out some of the movie stills or watching the trailers, but you really won’t understand just how great it looks until you see it in the movies. Especially the city of Brussels and the port in Morocco are bright,colorful and incredibly detailed. As far as the people go, they look wonderful to me. They still look like the cartoon characters from the comics, but when you see each individual hair on their heads and the sand and the sweat on their faces as they trod through the desert, you have to remind yourself it isn’t real and congrutalute Weta for their great job. The movie is in a number of formats, but I recommend you go see it in IMAX 3D like I did (if you can find one that doesn’t have all of it’s showtimes filled up with ”Mission Impossible 4”). Chris didn’t particularly like the 3D, but I’ve always been a big fan of IMAX 3D and really enjoyed certain sections when it looked like the dust Tintin’s flashlight was hitting or the woodchips that were exploding or even Captain Haddock’s nose were really in front of my face. Aside from a few moments when the camera pans so quickly a few things seem out of focus, this is a movie that the 3D really works well in, especially on the enormous screen. However I’d say that if you see it in 2D you shouldn’t feel like you’re missing too much because the 3D is more of a fun added bonus to the movie experience.

This is a movie you can take your kids to (they’ll LOVE Snowy), but it’s not just a movie for kids. I fear that many people will go to action packed Mission Impossible 4 and miss one of the best movies that came out this year. What really made the movie for me was Andy Serkis’ brilliant performance as Captain Haddock. Haddock is absolutely hilarious. When you’re not laughing at what he’s doing, you’re laughing at his lines, and when you’re not laughing at his lines you’re probably laughing at his face. He has a Scottish accent in the film (most of us didn’t see him that way in the books) but I fell in love with this version of Haddock immediately as Serkis brought it to life before my eyes. There were times when shots Haddock and a flashback of Sir Francis alternate with a fluency that could only really be acchieved using motion capture.The Thompsons also have a great part in the film, and the only thing I regret about their parts is that I wish they had appeared more in the movie! ”Tintin 2”, which has been officially confirmed, is said to give them a larger role. Daniel Craig did an awesome job as the villain Sakharine, and it’s funny to recognise James Bond playing a villain’s part. He is not the most evil of villains, but he certainly beats (in my mind anyway) the ”Bird Brothers” that were the somewhat pathetic villains in the original stories. I disliked to some degree how Allan, who was a main villain in ”The crab with the golden claws” became more of a wimpy sidekick to Sakharine, but it did work well in the story.

For Tintin Fans (the only spoilers here will be spoilers to non-Tintin fans)

If you are a Tintin fan worried that they’ve taken the stories and thrown in too many pointless action scenes, don’t worry about it. There were really very few sections that I didn’t instantly recognise from one of the books,even when the trailers sometimes make it seem like there are more, and they were anything but annoying. Actually I was very pleased that finally Tintin was doing something new because much of the fun for me in watching the movie was seeing what fun new things the writers could come up with for Tintin to do without insulting the fans. As I said before, the storyline was very familiar to me, and it was good to see some changes to it to make the movie more exciting. The scene in Bagghar with a brilliant cameo appearance of Castafiore and the chaos that follows is actually one of my favorite parts. If Herge could see it today, I think he’d laugh. And the other new scene at the end,a final clash between Haddock and the villain,is a great way to finish their side of the story. Never once do the new scenes seem to make the characters do something against their personality, and if they slow down the story at all it’s only so you can take a moment to enjoy yourself and laugh at what’s going on.
Tintin DOES use a gun (just like he does in the books) but as far as I could tell he never once killed anybody and hardly if ever wounds somebody. He shoots at motors or ropes to get what he wants or protect himself.
Any Tintin fan would be a fool not to go see this in theaters while they still can! Herge’s artwork is apparent from the first 3 seconds of the movie, and both the style and music of the intro feels like you’re watching the beginning of ”Catch me if you can” with about 14 million tributes to the different Tintin albums thrown in. It’s fun to watch moments throughout the movie that have elements thrown in from different books. There are more easter eggs in this movie that any I’ve ever seen, and if you have a good Tintin fan that can go with you to watch the movie you’ll enjoy yourself that much more, because you’ll both be the only people in the theater that know why you’re laughing at what’s on the screen. I won’t say what it is, but there’s a magnificent tribute to ”Explorers on the moon” that I really enjoyed. I can’t wait to own this movie on blu-ray and watch it with all the pizza and popcorn I couldn’t afford when I watched it in IMAX, this time with the remote control to pause the image and read newspaper clippings, compare character’s faces with the albums or look for more references.

Conclusion

You really have to see this movie. Europe loved it for good reasons. If you don’t know who Tintin is, you don’t know what you’re missing. If you DO know who Tintin is, you would make a grave error to not watch this because you are worried about ”what they’ve done to Tintin”. Don’t worry about it, trust me. No matter who you are, this is a must see. It’s the biggest installment in Tintin’s history since Alpha-Art was published.
If I could make a suggestion for the next film it would only be that the next story not revolve as much around a mystery and more around whether or not Tintin will be able to complete his clearly defined objective at all (i.e save Calculus from the Bordurians…hint hint…) I love that heroic side of Tintin that will do anything to save a friend, and I hope to see that developed more in the next film.

Go out America, and enjoy the film. Spielberg, Jackson, Weta, and the whole massive team in the credits, I applaud your hard work. The wait was worth it.

Stephen

Jamie Bell, Tintin Movie Trailers

I almost lived out one of my worst nightmares…I looked online to find The Adventures of Tintin:The Imax Experience 3D and almost every theatre in my state wasn’t showing it. The few IMAX theatres that were showing anything are playing Mission Impossible 4…But at the last moment I found a place 30 minutes away that’s showing it on Thursday. I am SO excited. I’ve been waiting so terribly long, just like the rest of you. Honestly, it’s been a lot of fun to have something worth looking forward to. I would say I can’t wait to see the movie but…I can wait a little more.
I’m debating about whether or not to buy popcorn. Sure, I’ve waited years and years for this, but is any popcorn, no matter how good, worth ten bucks??? Wow…
By the way, here’s an awesome new TV spot. My favorite part is the beginning. Honestly, I never liked it much when Tintin said ”Great Snakes!”…but I absolutely love how Jamie Bell pulled it off.

Jamie Bell

I’ve actually quoted a bit from this before, but up until know hadn’t seen the whole video. You can watch it here. It’s short and doesn’t reveal much, but it’s still Jamie Bell on Tintin. He reveals that he is very confident that the movie will be a hit, and that they really just don’t want to let the fans down. I laughed when he was asked if he had seen any finished footage and if he could talk about a specific scene that stood out to him because he only answered about the scenes we already knew about from the empire photos (something like this: well…there’s a lot of different landscapes in the film..a scene in the ocean…in the dessert…there’s an airplane sequence that’s really fantastic…) Then he said ”this is all stuff from the book, I’m not really revealing anything, but I think for the fans who know it they will know what I’m talking about.”  I hope I can safely speak for the rest of the fans ”who know it” here saying that not one of those 3 scenes actually was in the book ”The Secret of The Unicorn”  as the title of the video suggests but were in ”The Crab With The Golden Claws” and there has got to be more footage out there they could let us see…He must have been tipped off by somebody not to reveal much to the press about the film’s other content.  Sorry, but this isn’t good news for those of us dying to see a trailer…looks like they are going to continue to be very secretive about what gets out and when. This is just a guess,but considering the movie comes out in the fall I don’t expect to see a trailer until late summer. I don’t know if I can wait that long…

There is also an interesting part where Bell is asked if the film could be ”potentially more successful than Avatar”. That would be cool, but as he himself said ”that’s a pretty high bar to break…”. Ha ha ha ha a REALLY high bar… My favorite part is the end ” We just want to create a nice family-oriented action-film with characters that feel like they’re your family”.  That’s the kind of great movie that is so uncommon today, and I’m sure that’s the kind of movie Hergé would have wanted.

Jamie Bell, Tintin, Tintin Movie News

It’s not surprising with his big role in The Eagle and Tintin being the most anticipated of his next upcoming films that multiple reporters would interview Jamie Bell on Tintin. The following is the third interview I’ve found that has a section on his role in The Secret of The Unicorn. Some of this will sound similar to the other two interviews and there is almost no new information,but it’s fun to read none the less. The most interesting thing for me is the part at the end where he talks about Tintin’s voice.

Let’s talk about Tintin. Obviously, Spielberg is a director who’s in total command of his form, but here, he was working with technology he’s never used before. Could you see him figuring it out on set?
Oh, absolutely. He’d be like, “What does this do? Oh wow, it does that? I wish I could do that in the real world, I wish I could take out a lamppost and move it to the side of the street!” The simplistic things about motion capture that you can do with just the flick of a button are kind of amazing, but also, the use of light and color … for a filmmaker who’s incredibly visionary, I think it’s exciting because it gives him so many more options. The palette is endless, it’s infinite, and I think he definitely got a kick out of that. I think he said it made him more like a painter than he’d ever been before.

The look of the film is very painterly, just from the stills that have been released. Have you seen it in motion?
I’ve seen bits and pieces, yeah. It looks great. We call them “Tintin-ologists,” and as one of those people who’s really into it, it’s incredibly exciting. To see these characters come to life is something you’ve been waiting for your whole life, and when it’s you doing it … It’s actually got the vibe of a Hitchcockian film, a kind of noir film in a young person’s action-adventure film. It’s really great.

I’m assuming your friend Andy Serkis gave you advice on motion capture.
On everything. He’s the guru of that technology.

What’s the key thing you need to know if you’re doing it?
Just to overarticulate. He calls it “breaking through the technology,” and I like that idea because it means that you break through it and claim it for yourself. You don’t let it do the work for you, you attack it aggressively and control it. Look, if there’s anyone to listen to when it comes to motion capture, it’s that guy, so to have him next to me throughout felt great.

How do you know if you’re doing a good job?
You don’t. You trust your director, and I obviously have a great trust with Steven Spielberg. You’re in really good hands. There are some very specific beats with an action-adventure film, and you have to hit those moments of “I found a clue!” where you’re about to go into another adventure in the story. So the acting is still kind of the same, you’re still hitting these beats and those emotional peaks and lows. And you have to trust your animators, because that’s where the real work is done.

What’s your Tintin voice like?
Tintin is a native of Belgium, and we obviously couldn’t do it in French, although I would have loved to. So we kind of found an English sound that won’t distract people so much. You know, it’s very easy to upset people quickly when you’re taking on such a beloved character, so we want to remain as neutral as possible and not go too, too strongly in another direction. If Tintin had an American accent, I’m sure the rest of the world would be very upset!

3D, Jamie Bell, Tintin Movie News

In my last post I went into detail on the longest of two interviews with Jamie Bell,the well known actor cast as Tintin. Here I will review the second. There is no video of this one,and I am assuming there is more than I can find here but I haven’t found it yet. There is not too much I can say that isn’t stated there already,but there are a few thing’s worth mentioning and quotes from Jamie.

When Jamie Bell was approached with the project he was skeptical and clearly hadn’t worked with this technology before:

“What is it? That was my first thing initially. What is it? How do you do it? What does it require? How does it work? Does it even work? Let me see some evidence of it working. I watched some of those motion capture films, which were very early and primitive in terms of the technology. All props to Robert Zimeckis  for kind of spearheading the industry in saying that this is something we need to take note of.”

This quote is the biggest news from me. When he later talked about his first experience with motion capture he confirmed that he is a real fan of Tintin, as well as the fact that the new technology wound up being no problem at all:

“I knew everything about Tintin. I was already a Tintinophile or Tintinologist. I was very into that so it was literally trying to understand the mechanics of the technology. You want me to stand in a gray room and act as though I’m in a sea plane in the middle of the ocean, in the middle of the Sahara desert with nothing around me that informs anything about this character’s journey? Anything about anything in the physical world? That’s great because it just means that I can make it all up!”

That information complements the info from my previous post.  If any of us had any doubt about Jamie Bell,we shouldn’t now. He is a very good actor. But most important to me he is not going to do what many actors try and do in book or comic book based movies: try and put their own spin on a traditional character. That was one of my greatest fears about the Tintin movie. It’s one thing to take a character like Willy Wonka and twist him into something else or remake another Jane Eyre,but if such were ever attempted with Tintin the results would be disastrous. But Jamie Bell gives every indication that he did and will do his best to stay as true to the character as possible and to live up to Hergé’s work. That’s great news for all true Tintin fans!

Another possible issue was whether Tintin will appear to American audiences. I happen to be an American myself and I’ve asked myself this many times. A few people like my father knew about Tintin,but in general most people in the USA have never heard of him or confuse him with Rin tin tin. If the movie doesn’t go over well in the US that will definitely affect the final grossing and although this has no real source it might even affect the making of the sequels. This subject came up with Jamie as well:

“I think anyone who understands and appreciates Indiana Jones, understands Tintin and they don’t even know what it is yet. I feel like it’s not going to be difficult. I think the characters are great because they all have human flaws. The Tintin character is a very driven and ambitious guy. The structure of the story and the adventure is something we all know and love. There’s something at the end and they’ve got to get to it. There’s a very bizarre and quirky and exciting relationship in the center of it between these two guys. And there’s Steven Spielberg at the helm, who does this story incredibly well.”

The other day I heard somebody who had never heard of Tintin say that ”Tintin:the secret of the unicorn” was a funny sounding title. Had I not read the book or recognized the character,I probably would agree. But I think Jamie is right. The character’s are wonderful,the story is both entertaining and action packed,and I’m sure the huge amount of advertising that will be put out will get the American’s past the funny title. They may even see it just because Spielberg and Jackson made it.  That would be too bad if that were the only reason,but hopefully that will get Americans to know and love Tintin. As for myself,I can’t wait to see it and continue to wait anxiously for it’s premiere. These last two interviews are just two more reasons to look forward to opening night.

Andy Serkis, Jamie Bell, Peter Jackson, Tintin Movie Cast & Crew, Uncategorized

From what I can gather at least two different interviews with Jamie Bell after the press junket for ”The Eagle”, another upcoming film starring Jamie. Both have valuable information for Tintin Movie fans. Very special thanks to Pro-man, Wolfgang and Britto for finding information on these articles!

The first six minutes or so have almost nothing to do with Tintin,but he appears every so often from then on. There’s plenty of interesting info though for 10 minutes. Nothing that’s quite breaking news or anything that reveals much more than we knew already,but certainly worth a watch none the less. For those of you who don’t want to watch the whole video (or for those of you like me who have a computer that won’t have it loaded until the Tintin movie comes out) here is a summary of the Tintin related parts.

Jamie comments on the huge contrast between shooting on location for ”The Eagle” and shooting on a motion capture set where ”nothing is real” and things like a chair or even a camera are represented with pieces of metal. About 8 minutes into the video the interviewer asks a few questions about Tintin. Peter and Jamie have a professional relationship since King Kong. When approached on how he got the part Jamie talks about how he went down to New Zealand to meet with Peter Jackson and ”played around with the technology”. Jamie makes some comments on how he believes that motion capture is the only way to really stay true to Hergé’s artwork,the reason he believes that Tintin is still ”so successful and has withstood the test of time”.

He goes on to say ”I think what Hergé did was an incredible thing”. It’s refreshing to see that the actor playing Tintin is a true fan of Tintin as well. That will certainly show in the movie. Also,although he does not specifically say so in the interview about Tintin,at the beginning of the interview he spends a lot of time talking about how much work and research he put into playing his part in ”The Eagle” to the point where he even learned Gallic. If he was willing to do that for The Eagle,we can only imagine what his work on Tintin must have been like.

When asked if he had more respect for Andy Serkis now,Jamie answered ”Oh,for sure!…I’ve never worked so many times with Andy Serkis and now to actually work with him in something where I’m kind of in his back garden of technology…He is the guru! He is the Gandalf of motion capture!” He goes on to compare how just as Andy ceased to be Andy when he became the beast of King Kong he ceases to be himself when working on Captain Haddock. I can’t wait to see this on screen.

Since Tintin has such a long post production period,Jamie was asked how he was doing waiting to finally see the movie. Jamie replied ”I am itching…literally itching to see some stuff”. He commented on how post things took so long because thing’s are done in bits and pieces and it is so easy to change stuff. ”You just type it into a computer and your whole world pops right back up,so it’s very easy to change things”. Jamie said he was pleased with the images he has seen so far,believes the movie will be very and cool and that it has a ”very very driven kind of action adventure story with some really great characters I think everyone’s gonna love”. Later talking about the reaction of fans who haven’t heard on Tintin he says ”For anyone who are fans of things like Indiana Jones, this is kind of a very fresh take on that with a character that is very well established”

He was then asked about the experience of acting in motion capture and if he acted with others simultaneously or if he acted on his own. He replied that he acted like you would for any other film. ”It’s almost like rehearsing for a play that will never be put on stage.” It doesn’t feel like a movie set,he says,because all it is is a grey room with a bunch of cameras on the ceiling. ”When you’re acting it feels like a rehearsal space,which is really great cause it allows you to feel a lot freer because the room just feels so creative in that sense”. ”It’s really about kind of letting your imagination run wild”.

Jamie later confirms ”Tintin 2” but says the idea right now is to work on it after Jackson is done working on The Hobbit,a project he is very busy on right now and very devoted to. All that’s left in the video of Tintin related interest is his excitement of travelling around the world when Tintin is released,excited about being able to talk about his work with Spielberg and Jackson.

I will post more about a shorter interview in my next post.

Jamie Bell, Snowy, Tintin Movie News

Two new photos from the filming of Tintin have surfaced.


Set-Tintin.jpg

This shot (reportedly) shows Jamie Bell with another, unidentified actor and members of the crew. Snowy is simply a piece of cardboard on the end of a broomstick and just there so that the actors have something to react to when filming the scene.

Actually, that should be capturing, not filming, the scenes. There is no film or even video involved in this process.

The strange, wet-suit style, costumes the actors are wearing are covered with markers. These markers are tracked by sensors placed all over the room and their location are precisely recorded hundreds of times a second and stored to a computer. This data is then used in the CGI animation process allowing the director to create any style of image they want but based on the real movement of actors.

There is a second photo over at As Aventuras De Tintim, a Brazilian Tintin blog: EXCLUSIVO: Novas imagens do set de Tintim. I cannot find these images anywhere in the mainstream yet so this is a real scoop for them.

Jamie Bell, Tintin in Tibet

Jamie Bell (Tintin) is currently filming The Eagle Of The Ninth in Scotland. The film is about a Roman legion that went missing in 2AD. Currently there is a dispute because local builders are being snubbed in favour of Hungarian builders. And where is all this taking place? On the shores of Loch Lomond, source of Captain Haddock’s favourite tipple UPDATE: See comments below.

Andy Serkis, Captain Haddock, Jamie Bell, The Secret of the Unicorn, Thomson & Thompson, Tintin, Tintin Movie Cast & Crew, Tintin Movie News, Tintin Movie Trailers

The first on-set photos of the Tintin filming have been released by Empire Magazine

Small Tintin on-set photo jamie bell andy serkis steven spielberg

The photo shows Jamie Bell and Andy Serkis in motion capture suits talking to Steven Spielberg. In the background can be seen images from the books, particularly Thompson & Thomson, stuck on the the walls.

The picture comes from Empire Magazie’s 20th anniversary issue which has a special guest editor, Steven Spielberg. More photos are promised when the magazine comes out.