Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Spielberg And Jackson Each Directing Their Own Tintin Film

Here's yet another case of Robert Zemeckis being at the cutting edge of film technique and technology...

Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson are each directing a film in a planned trilogy of Tintin movies, with no indication yet of who will direct the third. Perhaps this deal was instrumental in The Lovely Bones landing at Dreamworks.

Now we know the next two films from each of the two directors - unless Spielberg squeezes another film in the middle somewhere. I'm quite confident Jackson's film will be the better of the two. For obvious reasons.

Apparently, a 20-minute test reel already exists, demonstrating the motion capture technology and the resulting images.

Spielberg said "Herge's characters have been reborn as living beings, expressing emotion and a soul which goes far beyond anything we've seen to date with computer animated characters". Yeah, right, Steve. I don't believe a word of it. I bet they're great, really great, but what, exactly is lacking emotion or soul in, say, King Kong, Gollum, Buzz, Woody, Sully or Mike? And this old claptrap about motion capture offering more nuance and 'reality' than conventionally animated characters is starting to get very, very tiring. It simply isn't true.

Jackson said "We're making them look photorealistic; the fibers of their clothing, the pores of their skin and each individual hair. They look exactly like real people - but real Herge people!"

I hope they know what they're doing. Polar Express was a warning shot over the heads of the mo-cap world, perhaps, and if Zemeckis can come a little unstuck with this tech, I don't know what hope anybody else will have. Beowulf is going to be the tester - if that works, then it can be done; if not - who knows? Monster House style caricature might be the only attainable answer, for now at least.

[EDIT: Rumours already circulating that Simon Pegg and Nick Frost would be up for the roles of the Thomson twins]

[SECOND EDIT: Rumours FINALLY confirmed. Pegg and Frost WILL be taking the roles]

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