Paramount Takes Over Tintin Coin

Paramount has stepped in to takeover full financing on Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson’s “Tintin” trilogy after Universal Pictures recoiled at the cost reports Deadline Hollywood Daily.

With the economy hitting rough times, studios are cutting costs wherever possible. Thus when the directors submitted a $130 million budget to produce the trio films based on the Belgian comic last week, Universal balked at the idea.

Now comes word that after a brief scramble, Viacom has just stepped in and offered the bigtime directors full financing on the project which was supposed to start production next month. No word as yet if any of this issue will cause a delay.

It’s a gamble in these times. With 30% of the film’s gross going to the film’s directors, the property will have to make on the order of over $400 million before a studio would see a dime – meaning the property needs to do well both in domestic and global markets.

Jackson’s WETA digital workshop has already spent $30 million developing performance-capture technology to make the boy detective, his dog and the rest of his motley crew come alive.

Internationally the two dozen or so graphic novels have been widely known, acclaimed and popular for many decades. In the US however they remain barely known works which could put a serious question about the film’s domestic possibilities.

Yet with the dream duo of Spielberg and Jackson, acclaimed scribe Steven Moffat adapting the script, and Herge’s work as the basis – the film already has more going for it than 98% of comic adaptations and pretty much all the ‘mo-cap’ films to have come out of Hollywood so far.

Still the timing is awkward as the DreamWorks-Reliance deal has finally come through, allowing Spielberg’s Dreamworks company to sever ties with Paramount and become is own entity with a likely distribution deal through Universal.