A highlight of the Empire Presents…Big Screen was clips for “The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret Unicorn”. Peter Jackson and Steven Spielberg recorded a special message, reminiscing together about their first ever meeting: yup, on stage at the Oscars.
From EmpireOnline: Spielberg elaborated on the origins of their partnership:
“When I’d finally got a [Tintin] story I was happy with, and the beginnings of a script, I wanted a feasibility study to see if I should do the movie in live action. I need a CG Snowy for this so I went to Peter’s company, Weta Digital.” Jackson took up the tale, explaining how he’d asked Weta’s team to rustle up a Captain Haddock costume, before donning the threads himself and acting out some scenes on the Weta back-lot. “I couldn’t think of anyone better to play Captain Haddock than me,” laughed the director.
The CG Snowy was added and the footage sent to the set of War Of The Worlds. “I immediately forgot Snowy,” explained Spielberg, “as all I could see was Peter. That’s when I asked Peter to work with me on this series of Tintin movies.”
Spielberg explained how the idea of a live-action Tintin was quickly kiboshed and Weta hired to digitise the boy wonder’s capers. “I’m thrilled that Tintin is a CG movie,” enthused Jackson. “While you can adapt the characters and story for live action, it’s never going to look like Tintin. We’ve made it true to the look of Hergé’s books.”
Backing that claim up, the sizzle reel took Tintin (Jamie Bell) from a noir-y, bullet-riddled encounter in his apartment block to his first meeting with the oft-sozzled Haddock (Andy Serkis) aboard a freighter to a hairy encounter with a hostile seaplane. It’s an expansion on the vignettes from the trailer and it looks fab. The spectre of those mo-cap dead eyes looks to have been completely banished by Weta’s bleeding edge work. These characters feelreal.
Jackson. “We wanted Hergé, from some faraway place, to approve of our efforts.” We think the famous Belgian will be feeling pretty stoked.