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Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson Can't Find "Tintin" Funding

Posted: September 20th, 2008 by WorstPreviews.com Staff
Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson CanSubmit Comment
Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson have been working on their "Tintin" trilogy, with Spielberg directing the first film, Jackson the second, and the third is still undetermined. The two mega-directors, with the help of Paramount, have already spent more than $30 million on scripts, character designs, initial animation and 3-D tests. The problem is that the film has not been greenlit for production yet. [via LA Times]

After figuring out how much the film will cost to make, Spielberg and Jackson submitted a $130 million budget to Universal Pictures, which immediately rejected them. According to the studio, the movie will have to bring in over $425 million in order for them to break even. Part of the problem is that the two directors would grab about 30% of the studio's total gross revenue from box-office, DVD, television and other sales. Under that scenario, the pair would walk away with more than $100 million before Universal could make a profit.

Similar motion-capture films like "The Polar Express," "Beowulf" and "Monster House" have performed considerably below the $425-million box-office gross benchmark. Universal has a real problem giving money to a film, only to see the profits be handed over to the talent, who have not put in a penny.

And "Tintin" is arguably a very risky project. It is based on the 1929-to-1976 book series written by the late Georges Remi, under the pen name Herge, about the global adventures of a young reporter and his dog, Snowy. The comics have a loyal following in Europe but are mostly obscure to US audiences.

To add embarrassment to injury, Universal's decision to pull out of "Tintin" thrusts Spielberg into a highly awkward situation. The director, along with his partner David Geffen, is getting ready to extricate himself from Paramount after a stormy 2 1/2 -year association.

As a result, Spielberg is having to go ask Paramount to finance all of "Tintin" at the same time he faces delicate negotiations regarding his and Geffen's split from the studio.

Late last month, Spielberg and Jackson showed a group of 10 Paramount executives, including Chairman Brad Grey and Vice Chairman Rob Moore, a 10-minute sample of what the movie would look like that was produced at Jackson's New Zealand visual effects company, Weta Digital.

Paramount executives are analyzing the economics of "Tintin" and are expected to decide shortly whether to bankroll the entire movie. If they do, Spielberg hopes to begin shooting next month.

Click here to read more about "Tintin."

Source: LA Times


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Displaying 1 comment(s) Profanity: Turn On
PrevalentMind writes:
on September 22nd, 2008 at 2:08:07 PM

Duh...Who else wants a live action adaptation of this unpopular, wimpy ginger kid? It was a bad film idea to begin with.

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