Getting the rights and telling an internationally beloved story took thirty years.
Spielberg's first exposure to Tintin was in French coverage of "Raiders of the Lost Ark," back in 1981. When he read reviews of the film, the French critics kept referencing the Belgium comic book series, noting the likenesses between the globetrotting adventures of Indiana Jones and those of Tintin. Spielberg had never heard of Tintin, so he got copies of the books ("which was not easy to do in 1981 in the U.S.," he joked), and promptly started reading them, starting with "The Seven Crystal Balls."
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