Spielberg casts British teenager as Tintin
By Lucy Cockcroft
A British teenager has been selected by Steven Spielberg to star as Tintin in a series of three films about the boy journalist.
Thomas Sangster, 17, who played the role of Liam Neeson’s step son in Love Actually, had originally sent an audition tape to the Hollywood director hoping to snare a role in The Talisman, a project which never got off the ground.
Instead Spielberg realised he had found the boy who could play Tintin, the young adventurer created by Belgian cartoonist and writer Georges Prosper Remi, better known by his pen name of Hergé.
Spielberg has been working with The Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson on how to bring Tintin, instantly recognisable by his blonde quiff and faithful side-kick Snowy the dog, to life.
All the regular characters are expected to be in the new movies, including the oafish detectives Thomson and Thompson and the virtually deaf Professor Cuthbert Calculus. Andy Serkis, who played Gollum in the adaptation of Tolkien’s books, has already been cast as Tintin’s friend Captain Haddock.
But it is not yet known which of the 23 Tintin stories will be filmed. And while Spielberg will direct one and Jackson one, it is still not known who will direct the third. They will be filmed back to back in the US and New Zealand, using the latest 3D technology.
Spielberg said: “We want Tintin’s adventures to have the reality of a live action film and yet Peter and I felt that shooting them in a traditional live action format would simply not honour the distinctive look of the characters and world that Hergé created.
“The idea is that the films will look neither like cartoons nor like computer-generated animation. We’re making them look photo-realistic, the fibres of their clothing, the pores of their skin and each individual hair. They look exactly like real people - but real Hergé people.”
More than 200 million copies of Hergé’s The Adventures of Tintin books, a series written between 1929 until his death in 1983, have been sold around the world.