Rumor: Is the Second ADVENTURES OF TINTIN Movie Based on PRISONERS OF THE SUN? [Updated]

by     Posted 3 years, 143 days ago

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There are still eight months between us and the December 23 release of The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn.  But producers Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson have, from the beginning, scoped their Tintin adaptation as a trilogy.  The Secret of the Unicorn is the eleventh title in the Belgian comic series, so Spielberg and Jackson are not tied to the release order of the source material.  This raises the question: what might serve as the basis of the sequel to Unicorn?

Our partners at Omelete may have found the answer in a post at On the Go informing of a promotional appearance by London author Anthony Horowitz.  The attached bio indicates Horowitz “will be writing the screenplay to the second Tintin film, Prisoners of the Sun.”  Details after the jump. [Update: Horowitz has confirmed that he's writing the second film.  Hit the jump for quotes on the gig from the author]

The synopsis for Prionsers of the Sun, the fourteenth title in The Adventures of Tintin:the-adventures-of-tintin-prisoners-of-the-sun-book-cover

After The Seven Crystal Balls set the eerie stage, Tintin and his friends continue their adventures in Peru. There Tintin rescues an orange-seller named Zorrino from being bullied, and the young man becomes their guide in their quest to find the Temple of the Sun. But they find more than they bargained for and end up in a hot spot. The perils of this engaging two-part adventure are especially harrowing in their combination of the supernatural and the real, although the resolution is a little too deus ex machina. Calculus and the Thompsons provide their usual comic relief. [Amazon]

I wish I didn’t have to apologize for being American and ignorant every time I write about Tintin, but I have no idea what any of that means.  Yet there it is.

We’ll treat this as a rumor for now, but it’s a reasonable hypothesis.  Horowitz’s publicist may have released the information about to promote his author earlier than Paramount was ready to announce.  And as a writer, Horowitz is the kind of talent that Jackson and Spielberg would pursue.  Horowitz has a number of credits on British television, most notably as creator of the WWII drama Foyle’s War.  Perhaps tellingly, all three writers credited on the Secrect of the Unicorn screenplay — Stephen Moffat, Edgar Wright, Joe Cornish — have also written for British television.

At Comic-Con in 2009, Jackson mentioned his preference for Prisoners of the Sun as well as The Seven Crystal Balls, the book that precedes it.  Jackson also said writing would begin before the release of The Secret of the Unicorn.  So really, the title and the timeline fit.

Steven Spielberg is using motion capture technology to direct Jamie Bell, Daniel Craig, Andy Serkis, Simon Pegg, and Nick Frost in The Secret of the Unicorn.  Jackson is on board to direct the sequel.

For those who want to sample Prisoners of the Sun, this appears to be a full 38-minute animated adaptation:

“Nuts to the sharks!”

Update: Horowitz confirms his involvement to Bleeding Cool and explains:

If that [Secret of the Unicorn] is a success and works and gets an audience I’m writing the sequel to it, Prisoners of the Sun, which Peter Jackson is going to direct.

Horowitz also says he’s currently the only writer on Prisoners of the Sun, but he expects to be joined by other writers:

At the moment on the second one it’s just one but you can bet your bottom dollar that by the time the film hits the screen, if it ever happens next year, that I’ll be joined by one or two other names there.




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  • Pills26

    Teeheehee! Prisoners of the Sun with Anthony Horowitz! News just made my day.

  • Nate

    I have to assume, given the level of talent involved here, that this must be very exciting news for someone. I wish I was them because I’m pretty freakin in the dark on why anybody could possibly give two shits. Not trying to be rude, it just seems..well…..kinda boring.

  • Emmanuel

    There was an article about how people do not like to see animation that is too human like. e.g. Mars Needs Mums. I think Tintin could be a problem in that it is using similar technology to MNM. But with the talent behind the scenes, i’m sure it won’t flop like MNM

  • Popo

    The real story of prisoners of the sun starts in the comic that came out before that entitled: the Seven Crystal Balls. That synopsis might make more sense to non-tintinologists:

    Seven explorers are home from Peru; among their trophies is the mummy of Rascar Capac, looted from an Inca tomb. One by one the explorers are struck by a mysterious illness, and beside each lie the fragments of a crystal ball. Tintin and Captain Haddock are soon involved. They learn of the ancient curse upon those who violate the Inca’s tomb. Then one night the mummy vanishes; later, Professor Calculus is kidnapped. Tintin, Snowy and Captain Haddock take up the chase in the first part of a remarkable South American adventure. [AR

  • christophercantos

    but it would still be re-written by Peter Jackson’s writing team, right? if Jackson does indeed directs the second installment, he’ll have his writing team of Boyens, Walsh, and himself re-write it(as his films are usually written by this team). The real great question is who will direct the third and final Tin-tin? Edgar Wright? Joe Cornish(i have not seen his Attack the Block, but the buzz is HUGE!). or will we see the Del Toro finally team up with Jackson..

    now, this may be off the topic. but do you think the Jackson team will still put Del Toro’s name in the credits for his screenwriting. i for one will be happy because it will show that there’s no bloodbath between the two visionary filmakers.

  • jbelkin

    While I don’t know the real details, I’m presuming they decided to start the movie series with a different story because:

    a) The first book involves an opium den – and while Herge’s best friend was Chinese, this story can be construed as racist (and brings up the whole non kid friendly issue of France & the UK forcing an opium market on China) plus there’s not much action so all and all, not the best way to launch a series …

    b) so it makes sense they would borrow elements from different books to launch and then get back to the order of the books.

    The Tintin books are great and hold up as storytelling and as art – sure, some the 1930′s story elements don’t always meet today’s Pc stndards but Herge was relatively enlightened and really presented everyone as equals to Tintin … except for the African story (not available in the US as it’s clearly way overboard in caricature drawings of Africans).

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  • Marissa

    Seeing how there’s already a movie that exists of ‘Prisoners of the Sun’, I’m surprised they went with this one. Mind you, I think it was a way to introduce Professor Calculus.

    Whatever the case, I’m looking forward to it. If they plan a second sequel, I have my fingers crossed that it’s of the stories ‘Destination Moon’ and ‘Explorers on the Moon’.

  • Anonymous

    i thought it was red rackham’s treasure

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