Monday afternoon's announcement that Steven Spielberg's The Adventures of Tintin will be the closing-night film at the AFI Fest would be more newsworthy if the film won't already have been playing around the world for two weeks by the time it debuts in Hollywood on November 10.
Still, the news gives the AFI Fest a heavyweight closer, and marks the North American debut of an animated (via the motion-capture technique) film whose overseas reaction has been marked by big grosses and divided critics.
Steven Spielberg is a national treasure, said Bob Gazzale, AFI President and CEO in a press release announcing the premiere. He has written this nation's cultural legacy over four decades, he inspires artists and audiences alike and he honors us all by premiering 'The Adventures of Tintin at AFI Fest, where we celebrate the very best the world has to offer for 2011.
The official U.S. release date for Tintin is December 21.
The 2011 AFI Fest begins on November 3 with a screening of Clint Eastwood's J. Edgar, and takes place over the following seven days at the Chinese and Egyptian theatres and the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood.
Last year's AFI Fest closer was Darren Aronofsky's Black Swan, which went on to win the Film Independent Spirit Award for Best Feature and an Oscar for star Natalie Portman.