Sunday, 5 December 2010

Caramba...! Tintin!!

According to Blogger Stats, by far and away the most read post since I started this blog was the news back in November 2009 that the new Tintin film - scheduled for release next year - was "finished" (in that all the dialogue had been recorded). Over 100 views in 24 hours (the next most popular was only 10!)!!

Perhaps this is not so surprising - even after 81 years Tintin still has a loyal following all over the world; not just here, in France and his home country of Belgium but as far afield as Canada, India and Tibet. So it was only a matter of time before the stories were turned into a film but it is only now, having bought the rights after the death of Tintin's creator Georges Remi ("Herge" was his nickname, derived from the French pronunciation of his initials read in reverse - "RG") in 1983, that Steven Spielberg has embarked on a movie venture.

Tintin holds many happy memories for me and I have no hesitation in naming him as a role model when I was growing up. I fondly remember, as I'm sure many of my readers do too, watching the 1991 series The Adventures of Tintin - the box set I now have on DVD! The first 1974 series Herge's Adventures of Tintin is also well-remembered by older members of my family. Despite the comic-book origins, I love the realism of the stories and particularly the time period and settings. The exotic locations that Tintin travelled to on his adventures have a real sense of immediacy and as a boy introduced me and drew me in to a whole other world - a world of 1930s aeroplanes, cars and ocean liners, of strange tribes and evil foreign villains! I have read - and still do read - all the books and am in the process of collecting all the stories again.

If this film can have the same impact on today's children then that would be brilliant. It certainly sounds incredibly promising - a trilogy based on 3 of the books (The Crab with the Golden Claws, The Secret of the Unicorn and Red Rackham's Treasure), the first to be directed by Spielberg, the second by Peter Jackson and the third by the two of them. Motion capture 3D (a live action Tintin series was tried in the 1970s, I think, but was unsuccessful), Steven Moffat (Doctor Who, Sherlock) one of the scriptwriters and with a great voice cast - Jamie Bell (Billy Elliot, King Kong) as Tintin, Andy Serkis (The Lord of the Rings, King Kong, Burke & Hare) as Captain Haddock, Daniel Craig as the main villain and Nick Frost & Simon Pegg (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz) as Thomson & Thompson, this could easily be my film of the year. The pictures that appear throughout this post were released recently and they only serve to heighten my anticipation. Roll on 2011!

N.B. In case you're wondering, the title of this thread comes from one of my favourite (and there are many!) exclamations from the books and series, usually uttered by some shady Latin type on the appearance of our hero. I admit that I sometimes try to work "Caramba!" into everyday conversation. ;-)

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