Tintin is the movie that fascinates me this year. I can’t help trying to figure out how Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson are going to work with this material to make it seem interesting to audiences worldwide, and how they’ll design the digital mo-cap characters that have already been acted by Jamie Bell, Andy Serkis, Nick Frost, Simon Pegg and others.

The big 20th anniversary issue of Empire has a few more details on the process and second film. /Film’s Brendon Connelly transcribed the quotes (which he then rapped around a giant stiffy aimed right at Empire) and I’m quoting him quoting the mag. This is a cross-Atlantic echo chamber!

First up, how many films will actually be made? Peter Jackson says at least two, maybe three. “We were originally planning three to be in production at the same time in different stages, and we may well do that. At the moment we have this one and the studio[s] is financing the second one as well, which is in pre-production.”

Unfortunately the magazine either doesn’t say who wrote/is writing the second film, or /Film doesn’t report it. The first, The Adventures of Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn, was written by Joe Cornish, Steven Moffat and Edgar Wright. Did they write script number two, or will someone else be responsible? Edgar Wright’s pretty busy right now, so if that script isn’t already written, he’s probably not part of the equation.

Jackson does note how some of the first script was sourced. The main plot, as we know, comes from The Secret of the Unicorn, while The Crab With the Golden Claws provides the framework for the introduction of Tintin (Jamie Bell) to Captain Haddock (Andy Serkis). There may be some all-new sequences, but Jackson insists that when they’ve cribbed from various sources, they’ve only cribbed from Herge, Tintin’s creator.

Jackson also says there will be some reshoots/additional work in Wellington in June, to patch holes in what’s already been shot, and confirms that for the second film, he’ll be directing on-site with Spielberg sitting in via webcam. One would assume that’s how the June reshoots will work as well, but that’s another unspecified detail. Finally, the mag says both films will be released in 2011. Does that mean that a third film will follow quickly behind, or will money for that theoretical production not materialize until the two current films are out? Expect the latter.

If you’ve read this far, congrats, since no one seems to care about these movies. I continue to be baffled by that non-response. How does this collection of writing, directing and acting talent not balance out any indifference people might have towards the character, at least at this stage? If the designs are revealed and they look terrible, then I’ll understand.