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Hergé’s Adventures of Billy Elliot

tintin

As ever it seems that I am behind the times. Popping up on Twitter this evening I heard tell of a Tintin movie, the likes of which I could have barely dreamed. I’d seen tales of optioning and the traditional passing from hand to hand of scripts, stories and directors, but not that anything was firmed up. Anyway, it seems that embargoes have been lifted and information has hit the internets like Captain Haddock falling off of a dock after an opium binge (read the books, it’s all about drugs. Go on, do it now. I’ll wait. Now, do you see? Special cigars everywhere and more chloroform and morphine than in the basement of any self respecting basement dwelling serial abductor). So, in bulleted form:

  • Directed by Steven Spielberg, produced by Peter Jackson
  • With Jamie Bell (Tintin), Daniel Craig (Red Rackham)
  • Also Andy Serkis, Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Gad Elmaleh, Toby Jones and Mackenzie Crook.
  • Based on ‘The Secret of The Unicorn’
  • Written by Steven Moffat, Edgar Wright and Joe Cornish
  • First in a series of motion captured animated features, the next to be directed by Peter Jackson

On coming soon

Now, I’ve not seen Polar Express and Spielberg turns in his fair share of mawkish rubbish, but I have hope here. There is talk of Craig being ‘wasted’ due to Rackham not having that big a part, but either Steve, Ed and Joe have bolstered it a bit or he’ll just be a name on the poster who does his bit well – my only regret being that we won’t see him in a pirate beard for long. Now, it’s at this point that my knowledge of the complete Tintin canon is revealed as being incomplete, as I have no idea if Rackham has a beard and it wasn’t until I had a look at the Wikipedia entry for the books that I found that Professor Calculus doesn’t appear until the second in this pair of books, Red Rackham’s Treasure.

On seeing the cast list I proposed some dream casting, with Andy Serkis motion captured as Snowy accompanied by Nick Frost providing a sotto voce whuffling and yipping, but IMDB shattered those dreams, dropping in Serkis as Captain Haddock, and Frost partnering with Simon Pegg as Thompson and Thomson. All pretty good sounding to me, and as long as the three headed monster of Moffat, Wright and Cornish can turn in as good a script as I suspect they can I will be a happy bunny. The writer of Press Gang (and something to do with Doctor Who, I hear), part of the Spaced/Shaun of the Dead/Hot Fuzz team (and director of the 3rd best Grindhouse trailer, Don’t, only beaten by Machete and the concept [even if not execution] of Werewolf Women of the SS [link contains boobs]) and the creator of this fine piece of music – what could go wrong.

Now it is time for me to try and dredge up my childhood memories, dig in the boxes that I was presented with when my parents moved houses (their claims that they didn’t have space still ring slightly false in my ears, country retirees that one set is and owners of a partly empty two car garage that the others are) and find myself my copies of the books. Not just so that I can pick holes in the films (‘I think you may find that the controls for the shark shaped submarine were quite clearly labelled with brass plaques, even if the french was exchanged for english in the translation’) but because I haven’t read the frankly awesome Destination Moon/Explorers on The Moon couplet for way too long. I may also have to dust off the DVDs of Cigar of the Pharaohs/The Blue Lotus, a mighty fine piece of Famous Five meets Traffic international drug ring smashing animation. On examination, the second DVD in that set has the animated version of the Moon books on it – score.

Onward to the adventures of a boy, his dog and the pipe-smoking alcoholic sailor who hangs around him just that little bit too much to be considered completely innocent. Let’s just hope they don’t analyse the characters in the book too much, or we could all be in trouble.

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