Sony Pictures Entertainment and Paramount Pictures are in talks to co-finance the digital 3-D “Tintin,” the Steven Spielberg/Peter Jackson series based on the Belgian “Tintin” comics, reports Variety.
After Universal backed out of partnering on the first installment, which Spielberg will direct, Paramount offered to fully back the first movie with a reduced backend at $135 million for the two gross participants. When the filmmakers held out for a better deal, a partner became a viable alternative.
Spielberg had hoped to be in production on Tintin by this fall. However, when financing fell apart at Universal on the eve of DreamWorks/Paramount divorce, he lost the participation of his lead actor Thomas Sangster. Nonetheless, the film is expected to be complete in time for a 2010 release. Jackson will direct the sequel.
In the deal currently being negotiated, Paramount is planning to distribute in North America and some other English-speaking territories, while Sony would handle the foreign release. However, “Tintin” would no longer have any association with DreamWorks.
The director of the third film in the planned trilogy was always up in the air and a script was never written. The deal under discussion appears to be for two films, however.
The movies will be animated with motion-capture technology.