One of the smartest trends in Hollywood has long been the playing of musical chairs with directors for extended movie franchises. Perhaps using different directors for each of the original "Stars Wars" trilogy was the reason they worked better as pure entertainment over all the prequels directed by George Lucas. With the same said about the "Harry Potter" franchise, you can see why Steven Spielberg is now handing over the directorial controls to Peter Jackson for the next film in the emerging "Tintin" movie series.
The real reason for Jackson directing is based on a deal he and Spielberg made ahead of any concern taking on yet another massive movie challenge without a break. But the reasoning for Jackson as the next director is still right.
It's also a question mark how he can turn "Tintin" into something Americans can relate to over the exultation Europe placed on the first movie. It painfully says much when "The Adventures of Tintin" wins Best Animated Film by the Foreign Press and gets snubbed for the same nomination at the Oscars.
Belgium and the rest of Europe could have been tempted to call us Americans "gauche" when most of the large box office for "Tintin" came from overseas. That's only because the familiarity of the series has had a longer track record over there, complete with stores selling merchandise. Maybe it's also because true artisans have more appreciation for original creator Hergé's art design and writing.
This doesn't mean Jackson and Spielberg should dumb down future "Tintin" movies just to capture more American interest. The intention is to still stay faithful to the original comic books while incorporating the original stories linearly. If rumor holds true that "The Seven Crystal Balls" and "Prisoners of the Sun" will be the next consolidated stories adapted for the big screen, then it's an interesting development in the possibilities of garnering more domestic interest.
The reason for that is boy journalist Tintin reverts strictly to an explorer in these tales. Hergé wrote most of "The Seven Crystal Balls" during the Nazi occupation of Belgium and subsequent Allied invasion. It ultimately adds to its intrigue in being devoid of the political message found in some of the earlier tales.
Yet it's the fact that "Crystal Balls" and "Prisoners of the Sun" take place partially in Peru to investigate an Inca curse where it turns into more Spielberg Americana. I'm talking about an ambiance of Indiana Jones here, which this tale resembles to the core. Reportedly, Spielberg wanted Tintin to be an animated Indiana Jones for kids from the start. With the chances of a new sequel in the Indy franchise being slim, "Tintin" may end up being the next best thing.
That adventurist vibe should catch the eye of more Americans who don't know what all the fuss is about, especially with Spielberg's affinity for keeping this series fast-paced. Although, if he wants Tintin to see real Americana, then perhaps he should consider adapting one of the earliest Tintin books: "Tintin in America." This one is an early tale (done in 1932) and shows the character going to Chicago to report on crime. And, unfortunately, Chicago crime in the modern day isn't outdated.
Even if they don't go that route, Spielberg and Jackson will have to eventually bring Tintin to America somehow. Seeing the very European Tintin and dog Snowy transplanted to the United States would add a lot to the fish out of water genre.
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