12:01 PM PDT 10/17/2011 by Rebecca Ford, Emily Blank
Steven Spielberg's highly anticipated motion-capture film, "The Adventures of Tintin," based on the comic book series by Belgian artist Herge, will finally open in theaters in Europe on Oct. 26, and in the U.S. on Dec. 21. Jamie Bell stars as the determined young journalist Tintin, and motion-capture expert Andy Serkis as Captain Haddock in the globe-trotting treasure hunt.
The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn
The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn is an upcoming 3D motion capture film based on the famous comic books by Belgian artist Herge. The story follows Tintin (Jamie Bell) on a globe-trotting treasure hunt. Along the way, he encounters all manner of color ful characters, such as Captain Haddock (Andy Serkis).
The comic book character has a stronger following in Europe, where the film was first screened and will release on October 26, before its U.S. debut on December 21. "Although only marginally popular in the States, Tintin is to many readers worldwide (especially in Western Europe and the UK) what Batman and Spider-Man are to Americans: a comic book they discovered as kids, grew up with and continue to cherish," THR's Jordan Mintzer wrote in his review of the film.
The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn also features Daniel Craig as the pirateRed Rackham, and Simon Pegg and Nick Frost as Thomson and Thompson, nearly identical detectives. Spielberg and Jackson pointed out that motion capture allowed them to use two actors, who look nothing alike, as the Thompson twins.
“We wanted to create a vision of animation and motion-capture that allowed Steven to step inside that world,” Jackson said at Comic-Con. “He stepped in and filmed it like a live action movie. He had the camera in his hands." Both Spielberg and Jackson spent a good amount of time during the Comic-Con panel defending their choice to make the film using motion-capture.
At Comic-Con, Spielberg explained the benefits of using motion-capture. “This is much more of a direct-to-canvas artform," he said, describing how he was able to see the world of Tintin while directing actors on a stage space they called the Volume. At the event, one lucky fan's t-shirt got him a prized photo with the accomplished director.
The upcoming film, written by Steven Moffat (Doctor Who), Edgar Wright (Hot Fuzz, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World) and Joe Cornish (Attack the Block), combines three of the original stories from the comic book series -- The Crab with the Golden Claws, The Secret of the Unicorn and Red Rackham's Treasure.
At Comic-Con, Spielberg told the audience that he discovered the Tintin comic books as an adult after a French reviewer consistently compared his Raiders of the Lost Ark to them. Jackson said he was reading them before he knew how to actually read.
Andy Serkis, who received critical praise over the summer for his voice and motion capture work as the ape in Rise of the Planet of the Apes, attended the Comic-Con panel for The Adventures of Tintin in July. He voices Captain Haddock in the upcoming film.
During the Q&A period at Comic-Con, a familiar face, Andy Serkis, stepped up to the mic to break the ice. Serkis, who will play Captain Haddock in the film, may be best known for his role as Gollum/Sméagol in The Lord of the Rings.