After a brief misunderstanding of information, it appears that, yes, Steven Spielberg, and not his fellow producer Peter Jackson, will be directing the first installment of a planned Tintin trilogy, hitting theaters sometime in 2010.
Now at the risk of getting our geek bonafides torn to pieces by irate comic fans, and at least one fellow member of the Culture Czar, since Tintin is being scripted by Doctor Who mastermind Steven Moffatt, we’ll ask: why is Steven Spielberg wasting his time directing a movie based on a Belgian comic strip?
We don’t know enough about Tintin to trash it. Until this morning, we actually thought the little dog was named “Tintin” and not the Archie knock-off lead character, a reporter who gets in adventures with that trusty dog, actually named “Snowy.” But after the slightly disastrous (and we’re being kind, because we sorta liked it) Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, we figured Spielberg would want to dig into something a little more substantial. Doing a 25-year passion project seems like a fool’s errand; just ask Martin Scorsese, who was never able to bottle the ends on Gangs of New York. Even the long-gestating Lincoln would be a fine follow-up: a paint-by-numbers period piece with a big star turn by Liam Neeson that will inevitably have a lousy third act and be filled with some bizarrely lit Janusz Kaminski shot compositions (it is Spielberg after all.)
However, a motion-capture animation, star-free, 1940s comic-strip adaptation? It just sounds like a project more suited for Robert Zemeckis.
Maybe it’s our vanity. We admit we find it hard to believe that something we’ve barely heard of could draw names like Spielberg and Jackson, not to mention millions of studio dollars and three planned movies. But, this just sounds like a big dud to us. If Spielberg is going to adapt something scripted by Steven Moffatt, with merely a cult following and not much penetration here in the colonies, why not just take the reigns on Doctor Who?