The first time appearance of legendary director Steven Spielberg was a big, big deal at the San Diego Comic Con. Despite all his top-grossing and critically acclaimed movies that fit the genre, appearing at the show had never worked out. So knowing he would show up to talk about The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn set the popular culture celebration all abuzz. When co-producer Peter Jackson shocked the movie-loving world and showed up Friday morning, the euphoria and applause shook the convention hall to its foundations.
Jackson, will be directing a Tintin sequel if the December film performs well at the boxoffice. Jackson told audiences the decision to do the films with Spielberg was easy. “I took two or three seconds to decide to work with him,” he said.
Jackson first appeared on screen interacting with a CGI Snowy (a little white dog from the story) in an apparent screen test. As the lights came up in the 6,000 seat hall, Peter Jackson was on stage to raucous cheers after a few moments of confusion or disbelief.
“You guys pirated the screen test,” he joked. “I thought we had agreed to destroy it.”
Spielberg’s first visit to the convention started with a montage of his cinematic history and then vocal adoration from gathered masses, many who had been waiting for hours to have a chance to see the director speak. They were treated to the pair who showcased two or three action heavy minutes from the film.
Each director has a fondness for the property. Jackson read it as a kid while Spielberg was exposed as an adult after hearing comparisons to his landmark Raiders of the Lost Ark films.
“Supporting these movies, staying kids no matter what your age. I’m not ready to grow up. When I grow up that is when I’ll stop making movies, which I don’t intend to do,” Spielberg said.
“He makes movies for the kid I was and still am,” Jackson said.
Jackson was influenced by Spielberg and realized after watching Jurassic Park that computers would play a big part of his future in movies. His Weta Digital has become one of the leaders in the world with films like Avatar and now Tintin.
“If not for Jurassic Park, none of that would exist,” Jackson said.
He also spoke about The Hobbit, explaining that the break the production is currently on (although work continued in London recently) was largely to accommodate Martin Freeman, who was always the first choice to play Bilbo Baggins. His current work on Sherlock Holmes (along with Benedict Cumberbatch voicing Smaug) meant that the production must wait for the television schedule.
Jackson felt the break was healthy for everybody involved in the production.
“It is great,” he said speaking of the film. “I’m having a hell of a time. I’m enjoying it way more than I ever thought I would.”
Andy Serkis, Gollum in the Lord of the Rings trilogy and in the coming two Hobbit was on hand and was the first person in line to ask the directors a question. Disguised in sunglasses and with an accent, he wasn’t immediately recognizable.
More updates soon!
TORn staffers Suvi and Garfeiamo contributed to this report.