India first for Spielberg

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By Hindustan Times

NEW DELHI, Nov. 9 -- Blistering Barnacles. Thundering typhoons! Steven Spielberg's The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn is already a smash hit in Europe, but it is the boy reporter's fan following in India that made the filmmaker choose to release it in India before the US.

"Tintin is not that well known in the United States and so, it made sense to release it there only as part of a strategy. India has a huge Tintin following and Steven was really excited, we could reach there before," says Kathleen Kennedy, co-producer of the flick alongside Spielberg and Peter Jackson.

The movie opens in India on Friday - almost six weeks before it hits US theatres. Based on the stories by Herge, the 3D outing has actor Jamie Bell as the whiff-haired Belgian scribe, Andy Serkis as the swearing, drunk Captain Haddock and Daniel Craig as Red Rackham.

Don't forget Snowy, points out Spielberg. "This dog is as human as some of the characters in the movie. He really comes to the rescue and in many respects he's one of the superheroes of the whole Tintin series," he says revealing that he is the sole animated character in the flick.

Not many know that being an American, Spielberg was unaware about the iconic series before his first Indiana Jones outing was compared to the same. "I came late to Tintin. It wasn't until I had finished making Raiders of the Lost Ark in 1981, that some reviews were comparing me to Tintin. I didn't understand what that was. I did some research and I was completely enthralled and thought they would make fantastic motion pictures," says Spielberg, who is aware of how India has grown up on the comic character.

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