By Hindustan Times
Belgium rolls out a royal red carpet on Saturday for Tintin, its most celebrated son, when Steven Spielberg premieres his blockbuster movie in the comic book hero's home capital.
Posters of the intrepid boy reporter with the quiff and funny pants are plastered across town, and a parade of vintage cars, as portrayed by author Herge in albums set in the 40s, organised to coincide with the premiere.
Spielberg flies in for the first public screening of The Adventures of Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn, an Avatar-style movie that will bring the boy hero and his trusty sidekick Snowy to cinemas elsewhere from October 26.
Co-produced by Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson, Spielberg's Tintin, in the director's own words, is billed as a kind of Indiana Jones for kids.
Loosely based on several of the 24 Tintin comics, the story kicks off in a well-known Brussels antiques market, and city authorities are looking to a tourist bonanza for "the most celebrated of Belgians" -- as say the posters.
Tintin and Spielberg, whose project dates back 30 years, are headlining papers and TV broadcasts in anticipation of the movie, which gets a second red-carpet premiere in Paris later on Saturday.
"There's a lot of excitement over the movie," said Dominique Maricq, an oldtimer at Herge Studios.
"We're curious to see how Hollywood portrays him."
Welcoming Spielberg's decision to unveil the 3-D animation in Belgium, Maricq said that from the start Belgian specialists had been "impressed by Spielberg and Jackson's determination to respect the spirit of Tintin's world, to not turn him into an American super-hero."
Created in 1929 by Herge, whose real name is Georges Remi and who was then in his early 20s, Tintin and his colourful companions have achieved cult status for millions worldwide.
Shot using motion capture technology, the movie uses real-life actors -- Jamie Bell of Billy Elliot fame as the fresh-faced hero, Daniel Craig as the villain Red Rackham -- to breathe life into its characters.