Upon winning the Best Picture Oscar for 2003's Return of the King, the final entry the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Peter Jackson was on top of the world. He gained enough clout to direct his passion project, the 2005 remake of King Kong, which was earnest but uneven, followed by the literary adaptation The Lovely Bones, which turned out to be a critical disaster and something of a financial black eye.
Jackson bounced back in a big way with the first part of his return to Middle-Earth, and last year's An Unexpected Journey turned out to be a worthy kickoff to the new trilogy. The year before, Jackson served as producer for Steven Spielberg's The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn, the first of an intended franchise (a trilogy at least), based on the series of comics by Belgian artist Georges Remi, better known as Hergé. The Tintin series is relatively obscure in the United States, but beloved around the world, which translated to a global box office take of over $370 million for the motion-capture animated adventure.
A year ago, Peter Jackson talked about his intention to shoot the sequel - currently titled The Adventures of Tintin: Prisoners of the Sun - before finishing up his work on The Hobbit, hoping to shoot the "capturing" before the end of summer, 2012. This didn't happen, of course, as The Hobbit was lengthened into a trilogy, and the last real word on the Tintin sequel came from Spielberg, who confirmed that Jackson is still directing and that the aim was to release by Christmas, 2015.
Now we have word from Jackson himself, speaking to BadTaste.it at the Berlin premiere of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, that he has every intention of directing the second entry in the Tintin universe:
"As soon as I'm free of 'The Hobbit', I'll be going back into doing 'Tintin.' It was held up by 'The Hobbit', but we have every intention of doing another Tintin movie and it's just waiting on me to be done with these 'Hobbit' movies."
You can watch the whole video below:
The first Tintin movie may not have set the U.S. box office on fire, but it was a huge hit in the rest of the world. Given how popular the Tintin comics are globally, especially in Europe, it's not much of a surprise that Spielberg and Jackson would continue to build on that success, this time with their roles swapped.
The second film is said to include plot elements from Tintin stories The Seven Crystal Balls and Prisoners of the Sun, with maybe something from The Blue Lotus - which makes the overall plot a big mystery - and potentially as over-stuffed as the first one felt at times. British novelist Anthony Horowitz (the Alex Rider series, among many others) is taking over screenwriting duties.
Since the final entry in The Hobbit trilogy, There and Back Again, is set to hit theaters in Decmeber 2014, one wonders just when we'll see a second Tintin movie - Jackson's comments are a signal that it's happening, but it seems unlikely that the nuanced, detailed VFX work needed to flesh out the motion-capture performances could really be finished by then, given that there is no indication of a timetable for shooting exists.
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug premieres December 13, 2013. The Adventures of Tintin: Prisoners of the Sun is tentatively scheduled for release in 2015 or 2016.