Spielberg’s ‘Tintin’ sets a date

'Adventures' to hit theaters in December 2011

Steven Spielberg’s “The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn” will hit U.S. theaters in December 2011 — long after bowing internationally.

Paramount Pictures and Sony Pictures Entertainment unveiled plans to release the motion capture pic Stateside on Dec. 23, 2011. But in an unusual move, film will launch internationally in late October and early November 2011, with Sony Pictures Releasing Intl. handling Continental Europe, Eastern Europe, Latin America and India, and Paramount distributing the film in Asia, Australia, the U.K. and all other English-speaking territories.

The two studios also revealed that they will release “Tintin” in 3-D, a move that had been mulled for several months. Insiders said the dailies convinced them that 3-D would offer the best rendition.

Film, which began production in late January, is the first of a planned series based on the iconic character created by Georges Remi, better known to the world by his pen name “Herge.” The second feature in the series is scheduled to be directed by Peter Jackson.

The decision signals the two studios’ belief that the property, which has been translated into 70 languages, shows stronger potential overseas than domestically. Not surprisingly, the film’s cast skews international with Brit Jamie Bell starring as the intrepid young reporter. Daniel Craig, Andy Serkis, Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Gad Elmaleh, Toby Jones and Mackenzie Crook round out the cast.

Spielberg, Jackson and Kathleen Kennedy are producing the pic, which will compete for North American audiences against Warner Bros.’ “Happy Feet 2” and Disney/Pixar’s “The Bear and the Bow.” Nick Rodwell, Stephane Sperry and Ken Kamins are exec producing.