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Live-action Tintin film in development from French director Patrice Leconte

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Great snakes! Another Tintin movie is on the way! Except, it’s not the one many of us have been eagerly waiting for but it may just be even more exciting. French news outlet Figaro (via IndieWire) is reporting that a live-action feature film adaptation of the beloved classic comic is currently in development with director Patrice Leconte in the driver’s seat. The filmmaker may not be a household name worldwide, but in his native France he is a major director with award-winning films such as The Girl on the Bridge, Ridicule, The Man on the Train, Monsieur Hire, and most recently, Do Not Disturb.

As for Tintin, the character began life in a series of 24 Franco-Belgian comics created by Belgian cartoonist Hergé. The iconically coifed young man is an intrepid reporter who, accompanied by his faithful dog Snowy and compatriots like the courageous but hard-drinking Captain Haddock, had grand crime-solving adventures all over the world. Hell, even off-world as Tintin has even been to the moon! Since the character’s first published appearance in 1929, the various stories contained in The Adventures of Tintin have sold more than 200 million copies and been translated into more than 70 different languages.

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One of those stories, The Castafiore Emerald, will be the inspiration for Leconte’s film, as the director revealed. One of the later Tintin stories originally released in 1962, this tale is a twisty affair packed with red herrings that sees Tintin and Haddock having to solve the theft of a massive emerald from Milanese opera diva Bianca Castafiore while she is staying at Haddock’s family estate, Marlinspike Hall. Leconte has reportedly already cast the roles of Haddock and Castafiore but is yet to find his Tintin.

There’s still plenty of time though, as the filmmaker first needs to film his upcoming feature “Maigret and the Dead Girl” in 2021. Not the mention that there’s the small issue of clearing up the film’s rights. Paramount France currently owns the cinematic rights to Tintin and negotiations with the studio still have to be completed. So yes, there is the slight chance that this whole project may actually never come to fruition

If it does, this will most definitely not be the first time Tintin is leaping off the page, as the character has also been adapted to radio and screen a number of times. The 1991-released The Adventures of Tintin animated TV series, a French-Canadian co-production has arguably been the most successful and faithful adaptation to date (and where I fell in love with stories), but there have also been two animated feature films as well as two live-action feature films produced during the late 1940s and early 1970s.

The biggest adaptation to date though was The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn, a CG-animated Hollywood blockbuster directed by Steven Spielberg and produced by Peter Jackson in 2011 (with a script from the powerhouse trio of Edgar Wright, Steven Moffat, and Joe Cornish). Despite strong reviews and solid box office numbers, a widely announced follow-up (which would see Spielberg and Jackson swapping director/producer chairs) has never materialized with the duo just saying every once in a while that they’re still working on it. I really enjoyed the first film and have been eagerly awaiting the sequel, but I guess Leconte’s effort will have to tide me over until Spielberg and Jackson’s film finally materializes.

Last Updated: October 13, 2020

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