Tag Archives: Peter Jackson

Spielberg, Jackson digging for ‘Tintin’

Tintin may have a new benefactor.

Filmmakers Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson are in the process of trying to line up a co-financing and co-distribution partner for their in-the-works trilogy of “Tintin” films, set up at Paramount Pictures. The director-producers are trying to entice Sony Pictures, which is now in discussions with Paramount, to help finance the films and take on international distribution.

Universal Pictures, which just entered into a seven-year distribution deal with the newly separated DreamWorks, of which Spielberg is a principal, last month declined to finance half of the first picture at a $130 million price tag.

At that time, Paramount quickly offered to finance the entire project, but the terms of the offer provoked the filmmakers to look for other options. Both Spielberg and Jackson, as two of the most successful and powerful director-producers in Hollywood, are accustomed to large back-end arrangements.

Should a deal close, Sony will not have a role in the creative development of the films, the first of which Spielberg is already in the process of directing. Jackson plans to direct the second.

Under the purported terms of the deal being negotiated, first reported by the New York Times, Paramount would retain distribution of the films in North America and several other English-seaking territories. This would seem to put the Melrose studio at a disadvantage given Tintin’s enduring appeal outside of the States, where he is much less well known.

Spielberg has long been trying to make films about the famously intrepid, globetrotting young reporter. The director is using motion-capture technology to bring the character, created by Belgian artist Herge, to life. It is scheduled for release in 2010.

The Spielberg camp had no comment on the potential deal.

Source: Hollywood Reporter

Xbox teams with Peter Jackson

SEATTLE (AP) _ Microsoft Corp. said Wednesday that it is teaming with "Lord of the Rings" director Peter Jackson to create content for its Xbox 360, in part to get more mainstream users interested in the company’s video game console.

Just don’t call these products "games."

"I don’t want to classify it as a game. I’m hoping to stretch the definition of interactive entertainment to go beyond the game," said Shane Kim, a corporate vice-president in charge of Microsoft Game Studios.

Kim conceded he’s not sure what exactly these new "entertainments" might be.

"I feel like we haven’t figured it out, to be honest," he said.

Whatever they are, Kim said they could include deeper plot lines and more interactive drama, or delivering additional content over time, perhaps through the company’s Xbox Live online service.

"It’s about making interactive entertainment a mainstream form of entertainment," Kim said.

Jackson, whose third movie in his Rings trilogy won 11 Oscars, including best director and best film, plans to work with Bungie Studios to create one product based on Microsoft’s already popular "Halo" game, Kim said. Screenwriter Fran Walsh, Jackson’s wife, also is on board.

The other product will be aimed at an audience beyond the young men typically associated with video games. Kim couldn’t say when either of Jackson’s projects might come out. Microsoft also said Wednesday that it was working on another "Halo" game, called "Halo Wars." It will be more of a strategy game, rather than the first-person shooter that has typified the series until now.

"Halo Wars" will be in addition to Jackson’s creation and the previously announced "Halo 3," due out next year.

The company also announced North American and European pricing for its external high-definition DVD player, which will be available in November as an add-on to the Xbox 360. The player will sell for US$199.99 in North America, for 199.99 euros in France and Germany and 129.99 pounds in the United Kingdom.

The DVD player aims to counter functions in Sony Corp.’s upcoming PlayStation 3.

Peter Jackson to Produce WWII film

UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif., Aug. 31 /PRNewswire/ — Production will soon begin on "DAMBUSTERS," an inspirational story of heroism and one of the most daring missions in aeronautic military history, it was announced today by Universal Pictures and StudioCanal.

Christian Rivers will direct the film, which is inspired by actual events and based on the book The Dam Busters by Paul Brickhill and the 1955 Associated British Picture Corporation motion picture. The WingNut Films production is produced by Jan Blenkin, Carolynne Cunningham and Peter Jackson, with Sir David Frost and Ken Kamins serving as executive producers.

A Universal Pictures presentation in association with StudioCanal, "DAMBUSTERS" chronicles the story of Operation Chastise, a top-secret Royal Air Force bombing mission designed to strike a decisive blow against the seemingly invincible Nazi war machine at the height of its aggression.

In March 1943, a group of airmen drawn from across the ranks of the RAF were assembled and trained for an unprecedented and potentially deadly assignment whose complete nature was not revealed to them. This largely hand-picked group, known as 617 Squadron – including pilots from Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the USA – were led by Wing Cmdr. Guy Gibson. They had only seven weeks to train with exercises that imitated, but never revealed, their ultimate intent: to fly deep within well-armed Germany at tree top level and destroy three dams that were essential to the Nazi steel industry. A revolutionary "bouncing" bomb that could skip across water had been developed by a visionary scientist, Barnes Wallis, but to be effective, the bomb had to be dropped from a terrifyingly close range and at very low altitude. In specially-modified Lancaster aircraft, the airmen trained for a single mission, the likes of which had never been undertaken and whose potential for success was small.

"This is one of the most remarkable true stories to come out of World War II," stated Jackson. "When Michael Anderson made his thrilling version of this story in 1955, many details of the dams raid were still a closely guarded secret. It has since been declassified by the British Government, making the dynamics of the story and the people involved even more intriguing. That, combined with our ability to harness state-of-the-art computer generated visual effects, will enable us to bring the events of these desperate days of 1943 to life in a very visceral way. This is an astonishing story that continues to be revered in British Commonwealth history, and our hope is to make their exploits known to more of the world and extend their legacy to a generation that might not otherwise recognize their inspiration and sacrifice."

"Peter Jackson is the ideal producer for a remake of ‘DAMBUSTERS,’" said Sir David Frost. "Not only because of his film-making genius, but also because of his aeronautical expertise and his unique understanding of the human pressures wrought by war."

"DAMBUSTERS" marks the feature film directorial debut of Christian Rivers, who has worked with Jackson for over 17 years – first as a storyboard artist while still at school, then as an animator, pre-vis supervisor, second unit director — culminating in his work as animation director on Jackson’s "King Kong," which won him a 2006 Academy Award® for Best Visual Effects (an honor Rivers shared with Joe Letteri, Brian Van’t Hul and Richard Taylor).

"The bravery of these young pilots, some of whom were only 20 years old, inspired the whole Allied world not just to resist, but to strike back against Nazi Germany," said Rivers. "I grew up with the Dambusters mythology as part of my heritage. I remember seeing it for the first time on television in England with my grandfather. I’ll never forget marveling at the image of the bouncing bomb punching across the water. This is one of the most revered stories of British ingenuity and heroism. We intend to be true to the values of the era in which these events took place."

The Oscar®-winning artists at Weta Digital, Ltd. and Weta Workshop, Ltd. will create the visual effects and miniatures necessary to fully realize "DAMBUSTERS" for the motion picture screen.