Spielberg’s Tintin Gets Reworked

Things have been far from smooth in Steven Spielberg’s quest to turn internationally-beloved Belgian comic “Tintin” into a feature film trilogy, but the effort got a little easier today thanks to the Japanese.

Sony Pictures is now in talks to co-finance the digital 3D “Tintin” projects which Spielberg and director Peter Jackson will produce and helm.

Universal and Paramount were originally scheduled to co-finance the project, but in these tight financial times Universal balked at the $135 million budget spent on a character that’s popular all over the world bar its most important market – the United States.

Pulling out of the deal during the DreamWorks/Paramount split didn’t make things easier and for a while there it seemed the whole project might fall apart. Paramount offered to take up the slack and fully finance the film, but Spielberg and co. held out for a better offer. Over the weekend they got it.

In the new deal, Paramount will distribute the film in North America and some other English-speaking territories with Sony handling the foreign release. The film will still be animated with motion-capture technology.

There’s a few catches though – namely the project will no longer have any association with the newly independent DreamWorks, and the deal is only for two films rather than the three originally planned.

Spielberg still intends to direct the first, scheduled for a 2010 release, and Jackson will helm the second.