Tintin Finally Does Tinseltown

The Associated Press
Thursday, March 8, 2007; 6:58 PM

BRUSSELS, Belgium -- It was a quarter-century in the making but then again, nothing is easy for cartoon heroes such as Tintin.

Steven Spielberg's DreamWorks, a division of Viacom Inc., has committed to produce at least one movie about the adventures of the intrepid Belgian reporter, said Nick Rodwell, head of Moulinsart NV, Tintin's commercial studio, on Thursday.

"After 25 years, they finally said, `OK, let's go,'" Rodwell said of the protracted talks with Spielberg. In an interview with The Associated Press, Rodwell said the Hollywood company will go into preproduction for a movie, which should appear in theaters in about two years.

"It's been a project on our future development plate here for quite a number of years, always with the idea it was something we would like to make," DreamWorks spokesman Marvin Levy said Thursday.

He emphasized that the film was not in the can yet. "I don't think we are at that point yet," Levy said. "It's premature to say who or when or where."

It wasn't clear whether the film would be cartoon animation, computer animation or a movie with actors, or which of the 24 cartoon books of Tintin's adventures would be picked.

"If movie No. 1 works, we will continue," Rodwell said.

Talks about a Hollywood movie on Tintin, who saves the lives of countless people and makes sure criminals end up behind bars, have long stalled on financial issues and production questions.

The first plan surfaced just before Tintin's creator, Georges Remi, aka Herge, died in 1983. Even at that time, Remi, one of the world's foremost cartoon strip authors, delighted in Hollywood's interest.

"If Steven Spielberg wants to make a Tintin film I cannot imagine anything better," Rodwell said of Remi's thoughts, and he fully realized that a movie adaptation might well change the way Tintin looks.

"Let's see what he comes up with," Rodwell said.

Tintin books have sold 220 million copies worldwide and have been translated in 77 languages.


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