On October 26, 2011, the Steven Spielberg film Les Aventures de Tintin: Le Secret de la Licorne (The Secret of the Unicorn) will be released in over 500 theaters in France. It isn’t an adaptation of just one Hergé book but more a compilation of several story lines. Tintin and Captain Haddock are in search of a sunken treasure, but they aren’t alone in this quest. The $135 million animated film is intended to be the first of a trilogy, but much will depend on how financially successful this first outing is for the American director and his New Zealander co-producer Peter Jackson of Lord of the Rings fame. The French press is not enchanted with the liberties Spielberg took with the stories they know so well and they predict that true Tintinophiles will be similarly disenchanted. What they miss even more is the sense of humor that apparently just doesn’t translate well from language to action, from French to Hollywoodian. American audiences will have to wait until December 21 to make up their own minds. But will they even show up? The trailer looks pretty visually impressive, so I’ll be there at least.
General and former president of France, Charles de Gaulle apparently once said, “Au fond, vous savez, mon seul rival international c’est Tintin!” (owe fohn, voo savay, moh suhl reeval in-ter-na-see-on-al seh Tahntahn), which means “In reality, you know, my only international rival is Tintin!” He’d show up for Tintin, and he’d let Spielberg know if he was unimpressed with how he treated the little fellow.