The British duo with an as of yet undermined American fan base, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, have found their next feature. Variety reports the stars of “Shaun of the Dead” and “Hot Fuzz” have agreed to play the Thompson Twins. No, not the 80’s pop band best known for the MTV staples “Hold Me Now “and “Lay Your Hands on Me,” but the “Tintin” comic strip characters who inspired the band’s name.
Attempting to prove anything they touch is gold, “Tintin” is the first collaboration between Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson. Spielberg will direct the first installment (it’s intended to be a franchise) and Jackson will produce. The intent is for both filmmakers to switch positions on subsequent sequels.
The movie is based on the classic European comic strip of a globetrotting boy reporter. Pegg and Frost will play bumbling detectives the Thompson Twins who can only be told apart by their different mustaches. Thompson has a flat mustache, while Thomson, without the “p,” has a flared version. No doubt spawning hours of speculation on “Tintin” message boards worldwide, it is unclear which twin Pegg and Frost will portray.
Jackson staple Andy Serkis has already been confirmed as Tintin’s sidekick Captain Haddock, but the title character has not been cast. Newcomer Thomas Sangster was originally intended to play the role, but exited the project when the film could not find financing during the split between Spielberg’s DreamWorks and Paramount Pictures. A few months later, Paramount realized it had very few pictures in the pipeline and made nice with Hollywood’s most successful director by teaming up with Sony Pictures to co-finance the picture.
Most recently, Pegg and Frost have collaborated on a new screenplay, “Paul,” that both are expected to star in for director Greg Mottola (“Superbad”). However, that project is seemingly on hold due to the possible SAG strike later this month. It is unclear how “Tintin” fits into both actors’ schedules or when Spielberg and Jackson plan to begin shooting the film.
In any event, Pegg will be seen this May taking over the iconic role of Scotty in J.J. Abrams reboot of “Star Trek.”