Spielberg's "Tintin" to unspool in late 2011

Steven Spielberg presents the Oscar for Best Motion Picture during the 81st Academy Awards in Hollywood, California February 22, 2009. REUTERS/Gary Hershorn

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Steven Spielberg’s “The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn” will arrive in U.S. theaters just before Christmas of 2011.

Paramount Pictures and Sony Pictures have scheduled the family feature for a December 23, 2011, domestic release through Paramount.

An international rollout will begin weeks earlier, in late October, with Sony Pictures Releasing International handling continental Europe, Latin America and India, and Paramount distributing the film in Asia, Australia, the United Kingdom and all other English-speaking territories.

The holiday movie is a 3-D motion-capture feature inspired by the renowned character created by Herge -- the pen name of Belgian writer and artist Georges Prosper Remi -- in two dozen stories first published 80 years ago.

Jamie Bell stars as the globetrotting young reporter Tintin, who faces off against the nefarious Red Rackham, played by Daniel Craig. Andy Serkis, Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Gad Elmaleh, Toby Jones and Mackenzie Crook co-star.

Steven Moffat, Edgar Wright and Joe Cornish wrote the screenplay.

“Unicorn” is intended as the first in a series of films derived from the Herge books.

Spielberg, “Lord of the Rings” director Peter Jackson and Kathleen Kennedy are producing the film, and Jackson’s Weta Digital has developed the performance-capture technology that Jackson himself will use when he directs the second film in the franchise. Spielberg started testing footage for the project last year and began filming officially in January.