Steven Spielberg has told Sky News how much he loves Tintin as his film of the Belgian character is finally premiered. The director, at the world premiere in Brussels, says he never gave up on the project despite it taking 28 years to complete.
Tintin's creator Herge said 30 years ago that Spielberg was the only man to bring it to the big screen. And now, with the help of Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson and £82m of special effects, he has done exactly that.
Spielberg told Sky News: "A lot of my movies have taken a long time for me to get around to making them but I have never done a project that has taken 28 years between a time that I first optioned the story and the time the movie finally came to the screen.
"It is only because I loved it so much that I wasn't willing to give up on it. It just took a long time to find the right medium to tell this story in." Asked why he was so found of Tintin, he said: "He is a tenacious adventurer and he's a reporter that puts himself in his own stories. "It's not that he comes from any place of ego, it's just that he gets accidentally involved in the crimes he's solving and the mysteries he's trying to uncover. "He gets in trouble and he's got all these crazy exotic characters that get him into even more trouble."
The Adventures of Tintin - The Secret of the Unicorn aims to create new fans of the boy reporter with the trademark quiff and Snowy the dog. It tries to bridge the gap between the comic and the big screen by using a similar technique to that used in Avatar.
Billy Elliot star Jamie Bell portrays Tintin in the film, which also stars Daniel Craig, Simon Pegg and Andy Serkis. They had to adapt to acting in a studio and wearing special suits which registered their movements. This data was then transformed into a computer-generated, three dimensional image of the character. "It actually becomes like a rehearsal stage, like you are rehearsing for a play you will never put on stage," Bell said.
Spielberg told how he spoke to Herge shortly before his death in 1983 about adapting his creation. "He was a big fan of Raiders of the Lost Ark and actually on the telephone said he wanted me to adapt his books into movies," he recalled. "It was one of the most exciting phone calls in my life."
Asked what drives him to keep making films, the director said: "I just love movies, I love telling stories. "When I'm not making movies, I'm telling my kids stories. I'm going to do it one way or the other."