Director Steven Spielberg and producer Peter Jackson talk of their dream film, 'Tintin'
It was two fanboys, bringing Tintin to the movies. At a hotel suite in Paris, The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn director Steven Spielberg and producer Peter Jackson reveal in this exclusive interview how they turned a comic book hero into a 3-D animated star.
A still from The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn
You first met at the Oscars...
Peter Jackson: Yes, but it's hard to chat in front of a billion people.
Steven Spielberg: I admired all of the The Lord of the Rings movies and handed him the Oscar with tremendous pride and emotion. Who knew that several years later, we would be Rick and Louie from Casablanca walking across the tarmac?
PJ: If I had to describe the relationship between Steven and me, it was like two Tintin fans who were lucky enough to make their movie. The best collaborations are when you are on the same page.
What are your favourite films of each other?
PJ: How do you name your favourite Spielberg film? A good movie makes you feel like you're a child. The last time that I got turned into an eight-year-old was watching that T-Rex lurch around in Jurassic Park. My jaw dropped. I had always dreamt of having a time machine to go back and see what dinosaurs really looked like and Steven showed me that through his movies. I can now live my life knowing I've seen a Tyrannosaurus Rex.
SS: My favourite of Peter's is The Return of the King, but I loved all the three The Lord of the Rings films.
How did you pick which Tintin book to start off on?
Peter: The Secret of the Unicorn seemed a great way to introduce the cinematic Tintin. He's a literary figure that has existed since the 1930s. We have a responsibility to introduce him to the movie- going world that knows their Tintins, as well as the audience in America that doesn't. We had to find a story that could do both of those roles. We also wanted Haddock and Tintin to meet for the first time, so we went to The Crab with the Golden Claws. We took a piece of that story and grafted it onto the other.
SS: We wanted to give the audience a background into Captain Haddock's lineage. So in Secret of the Unicorn, we flashback to the 16th century to see Sir Francis Haddock.
Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson
Were there any creative differences?
SS: It would bore you guys to see the lack of conflict. Only our times were so wonky, between Los Angeles and New Zealand.
PJ: Making a movie is a series of puzzles. It's not, "My idea is better than yours." The process is solving the puzzle and both of you putting the brains into it.
(Shradha Sukumaran is Managing Editor at ELLE magazine)