The Adventures of Tintin (also known as The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn in the United Kingdom) is a 2011 American performance capture 3D film based on The Adventures of Tintin, a series of comic books created by Belgian artist Hergé (Georges Remi). Directed by Steven Spielberg, produced by Peter Jackson, and written by Steven Moffat, Edgar Wright and Joe Cornish, the film is based on three of the original comic books: The Crab with the Golden Claws (1941), The Secret of the Unicorn (1943), and Red Rackham's Treasure (1944).
Spielberg first acquired rights to produce a film based upon the Adventures of Tintin series following Hergé's death in 1983, and re-optioned them in 2002. Filming was due to begin in October 2008 for a 2010 release, but release was delayed to 2011 after Universal opted out of producing the film with Paramount, who provided $30 million on pre-production. Sony chose to co-produce the films. The delay resulted in Thomas Sangster, who had been cast as Tintin, departing from the project. Producer Peter Jackson, whose company Weta Digital is providing the computer animation, intends to direct a sequel. Spielberg and Jackson also hope to co-direct a third film.
The first press-screening was held on October 10, 2011 and the world première took place on October 22, 2011 in Brussels. The film is set to be released in North American theaters on December 21, 2011 in Digital 3D and IMAX. The release date in Australia is 26 December.
Tintin, a young journalist, and his dog Snowy, are browsing in an outdoor market in a European town. Tintin buys a model of a three-masted sailing ship, the Unicorn, for a good price, but is then immediately accosted by the sinister Ivan Ivanovitch Sakharine, and the mysterious figure of Barnaby, who both try to buy the model from Tintin, without success. Tintin takes the ship home, but it is broken during a fight between Snowy and a neighbour's cat. As it breaks, a parchment scroll slips out of the ship's mast. Snowy spots it but is unable to alert Tintin. Meanwhile, incompetent detectives Thomson and Thompson are on the trail of a pickpocket, Aristides Silk. Tintin visits Sakharine in Marlinspike Hall, where he learns that there are at least two model ships.
Later, Tintin is shot at, then abducted by accomplices of Sakharine, and imprisoned on the SS Karaboudjan. On board, Tintin escapes and meets the ship's nominal captain, Haddock. Haddock has been supplied with whisky by first mate Allan, who is working for Sakharine, and the captain is permanently drunk, and doesn't know what's happening on board his ship. Tintin and Haddock (and Snowy) eventually escape from the Karaboudjan in a lifeboat. Sakharine sends a seaplane to find them, but Tintin is able to capture the plane, and fly towards the (fictitious) Moroccan port of Bagghar, but they crash in the desert.
Dehydrated in the heat, and suffering from a sudden lack of alcohol, Haddock hallucinates, and starts to remember stories about his ancestor, Sir Francis Haddock(e), who was captain of the Unicorn during the 17th century. Sir Francis' treasure-laden ship was attacked by a pirate ship, led by the masked Red Rackham, and, after a fierce battle and eventual surrender, Sir Francis chose to sink the Unicorn, and most of the treasure, rather than allow it to fall into Rackham's hands. It transpires that there were three models of the Unicorn, each containing a scroll. Together, the scrolls will reveal the location of the sunken Unicorn, and its treasure.
In Bagghar, Tintin and the Captain find out that the third model ship is in the possession of the wealthy Omar Ben Salaad, but it is encased in a bullet-proof glass display case. Sakharine's plan is to stage a concert involving famous diva Bianca Castafiore, the "Milanese nightingale", whose penetrating singing voice will be able to shatter the glass case, allowing Sakharine's trained hawk to fly down and steal the third scroll. After a chase down to the harbour, pursued by Tintin and Haddock, Sakharine finally escapes with all three scrolls. Tintin chases him back to Europe and arranges a police reception for him on the dockside. Haddock and Sakharine, who is revealed to be the descendant of Red Rackham, replay their ancestors' swashbuckling sword fight, using dockside cranes, and Haddock is eventually victorious.
With the three scrolls in their possession, Tintin and Haddock find that the indicated location is Marlinspike Hall, and that the hall had been built originally by Sir Francis Haddock. There, in the cellar, they find some of the treasure, a clue to the location of the sunken Unicorn, and, perhaps, the excuse for another adventure.
* Jamie Bell as Tintin. Bell replaced Thomas Sangster, who dropped out when filming was delayed in October 2008. Jackson suggested Bell take on the role, having cast him as Jimmy in his King Kong remake.
* Andy Serkis as Captain Haddock. Serkis played Gollum in Jackson's The Lord of the Rings and King Kong in the 2005 remake, which were both roles requiring motion capture. Serkis joked he was concerned that Jackson wanted him to play Tintin's dog Snowy, who will be animated traditionally, i.e., without motion capture. Serkis remarked upon reading the comics again for the role that they had a surreal Pythonesque quality. Serkis also plays Haddock's ancestor Sir Francis Haddocke in flashbacks.
* Simon Pegg and Nick Frost as Thomson and Thompson, bumbling detectives who are almost completely identical. Spielberg invited Pegg to the set and offered him the role after he had completed How to Lose Friends & Alienate People. Pegg also stars along side Serkis in John Landis' Burke and Hare, released in Autumn 2010. Co-writer Edgar Wright, a long time collaborator with Pegg and Frost, is believed to be providing dialogue for their characters.
* Daniel Craig as Ivan Ivanovitch Sakharine/Red Rackham: The pirate who attacked the Unicorn, the ship captained by Sir Francis Haddock. Sakharine the descendant of Red Rackham.  Craig collaborated with Spielberg on Munich, Toby Jones in Infamous and Bell in Defiance.
* Tony Curran as Lieutenant Delacourt, an ally of Tintin.
* Toby Jones plays Aristides Silk, a pickpocket.
* Gad Elmaleh as Omar Ben Salaad.
* Mackenzie Crook and Daniel Mays play Ernie and Allan, smugglers aboard the Karaboudjan.
* Cary Elwes and Phillip Rhys appear as seaplane pilots.
* Ron Bottitta as Unicorn Lookout.