Director: Steven Spielberg
Stars: Jamie Bell, Andy Serkis, Daniel Craig
Plot: Intrepid reporter Tintin and Captain Haddock set off on a treasure hunt for a sunken ship commanded by Haddock's ancestor.
The painter at the beginning bears the likeness of Hergé, creator of the 'Tintin' comics. Furthermore, he draws Tintin's portrait in Herge's style. Using Hergé's likeness is an homage to the artist's own private joke of incorporating the likenesses of friends and family in his Tintin works.
The first animated film directed by Steven Spielberg.
Steven Spielberg has been an avid fan of 'The Adventures of Tintin' comic books since 1981, when a review compared Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) to Tintin. His secretary bought him French-language editions of each book, but Spielberg did not have to understand them: he immediately fell in love with its art. Meanwhile, 'Tintin' creator Hergé became a fan of Spielberg (reports say he "thought Spielberg was the only person who could ever do Tintin justice.")
While their plane is falling from the sky, Haddock and Snowy drink blobs of floating alcohol while in zero gravity. This is a reference to a similar scene in the Tintin comic "Explorers on the Moon".
Originally, Steven Spielberg was going to do a live-action adaptation of Tintin, and called Peter Jackson to ask if his VFX company Weta Digital would work on the film, in particular creating a CGI Snowy. Jackson, as it turned out, was a longtime fan of Tintin, and convinced Spielberg that live action would not do justice to the comic books, and that motion capture was the best way of representing Hergé's world of Tintin. However, Snowy would still be CGI.
To prepare for his role as Captain Haddock, Andy Serkis read the majority of the "Tintin" comics. He later commented that they had a surreal quality, similar to the Monty Python films.
According to Steven Spielberg, when shooting he always keeps one eye closed when framing a shot, so that he can visualize the film in 2D ("the way viewers would"). But on this film he had both of his eyes open, as it was 3D and he wanted to treat the film like live-action.
This film combines the Tintin tales 'The Crab with the Golden Claws' (Tintin befriends Captain Haddock whose ship has been hijacked by smugglers) and the two-parter 'The Secret of the Unicorn' and 'Red Rackham's Treasure' (Tintin and Haddock search for pirate treasure).
Thomas Brodie-Sangster was originally set to play the titular character, but had to drop out due to scheduling conflicts. Jamie Bell, who had worked with Peter Jackson on King Kong (2005), then came aboard to play Tintin.
Tom Hanks was originally cast as Captain Haddock.
Steven Spielberg is a huge fan of James Bond. He has worked with two Bond actors: Sean Connery in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989) and Daniel Craig in this film and Munich (2005). There is another homage to Bond in this film: Sakharine's Rolls Royce Phantom III has the exact same colours as the one driven by Auric Goldfinger in Goldfinger (1964).
In the Tintin comic "The Secret of the Unicorn", Professor Ivan Ivanovich Sakharine starts off as a suspected villain, but turns out to be a mere art collector. In the film, he is combined with several other characters by being made the main antagonist and Red Rackham's descendant.