British Duo May Star in Tintin
British actors Simon Pegg and Nick Frost – best known for comedies Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz – may play bumbling detectives Thomson and Thompson in Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson’s Tintin films.
The announcement will surprise fans because in the books on which the films are based the two characters are identical, right down to their trademark bowler hats and moustaches.
Pegg told Britain’s Sunday Times Spielberg suggested the two after Pegg met the director on the set of the first Tintin film, which is being shot in Los Angeles.
Spielberg’s company DreamWorks has yet to confirm if they have been cast.
The project involves visual effects from Weta Digital in Wellington, including motion capture technology similar to that used when Andy Serkis was the model for Gollum in The Lord of the Rings and for Kong in King Kong.
This may give Spielberg and Jackson room to alter appearances.
Pegg and Frost visited Wellington last year with Hot Fuzz director Edgar Wright. All three are good friends with Jackson, who had a cameo in Hot Fuzz as a knife-wielding Santa Claus.
The Los Angeles Times has reported that Spielberg and Jackson are likely to get full backing for the first film after Universal Pictures pulled out last week of funding half its US$130 million budget.
The newspaper said Paramount, which was to have funded the remaining half, proposed funding the film entirely. But neither DreamWorks nor Paramount confirmed the report.
Website Deadline Hollywood, which broke the story, said it understood Paramount’s parent company Viacom had also proposed 100 per cent funding.
Spielberg and Jackson had approached other possible backers, including Walden Media, responsible for The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and Prince Caspian. [stuff]