Universal Says “Thanks, but no thanks” To Tintin

By Jason

September 22, 2008 Movies No comments

In what sounds like an incredibly bone-headed move from a business point of view, Universal Pictures has pulled out of the Tintin adaptation. They have declined to exercise an option to co-finance Tintin, which is already set up as a trilogy to be produced and directed by Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson.

Nikki Finke’s Deadline Hollywood Daily brings us the whole story:

The decision was quietly made a few weeks ago. So now DreamWorks will look only to owner Paramount for the rest of the moolah in the same way the two shared financing on Dreamgirls and Transformers. Unfortunately, Paramount is presently without an overall financing deal to mitigate risk, but is arranging it on a film-by-film basis. I say Tintin — to be played by Love Actually’s Thomas Sangster — sounds like an expensive but safe bet, considering that the beloved Belgian boy is a worldwide phenomenon, and that the two great filmmakers are directing and producing even though also participating as huge first-dollar-gross players.

So now it looks like Paramount may be in for more than they were planning. Is this going to slow up the film? It seems unlikely since the film does sound like a solid bet. However, I would expect Paramount to still try to find another partner. Studios always like to hedge their bets when they can to minimize potential losses.

Filming is expected to get started in October so hopefully they’ll all figure out the financing before then. I suppose Spielberg and Jackson could always throw in a few extra dollars to help out – it’s not like they don’t have it.