Paramount Says No to Spielberg Tintin Project

Posted on September 20, 2008

This has to be some kind of a first: Steven Spielberg was told no by Paramount's Brad Grey. Grey said no to funding Spielberg's expensive motion capture Tintin movie. Universal has also passed on funding its half. The plan was to make two Tintin films: Spielberg would direct one and Peter Jackson would direct the other. But now the project is in limbo. It seems that the movie is too expensive for Paramount.

Grey is said to be outraged by the movie's costly price tag, as well as the lush profit participation for the key players. "Paramount won't pay Indiana Jones prices for a new franchise," says a studio insider who adds that Paramount might take the position that DreamWorks should never have gotten in as deep as it did when it lacked approval to go ahead with the movie. "The days of pretending that we're all friends are over."


With the start date for Tintin drawing near last month, Spielberg and Jackson wanted to make a presentation to Grey that might convince him to pull the trigger on the film. After they waited for 10 days while Grey vacationed and attended to other concerns, they finally met (with Jackson present via satellite). But still, Grey put them off.


So DreamWorks is now scrambling around Hollywood looking for a partner that wants to take a chance on Spielberg's vision. "They just want to make the movie," says a studio source. "That's the big frustration. Nobody says no to Steven Spielberg."

This has to be a function of the recession. No one wants to make an expensive gamble that might help bankrupt a studio. When Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson get turned down, that means the economy is in bad, bad shape.

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