Steven Spielberg has finally found his Tintin, and it’s Jamie Bell, the former Billy Elliot who has spent the last few years making a name for himself in indie projects. Opposite him in the Spielberg-directed and Peter Jackson-produced film will be Daniel Craig, Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Toby Jones, Andy Serkis, Mackensie Crook and Gad Elmaleh (Priceless).

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is a cast and a half of character actors. Bell will play boy reporter Tintin in the 3-D motion capture film, now titled The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn and based on the book of the same name. In that, Tintin attempts to buy a model ship for his friend Captain Haddock, but has to fend off two other anxious purchasers. When the ship is later stolen, he learns that it contains secret directions to a sunken treasure hidden years before by one of Captain Haddock’s ancestors.

Daniel Craig will be playing nefarious pirate Red Rackham, whose attempt to capture the ship of one of Captain Haddock’s ancestors led to the treasure being sunk and the maps being created, with – according to long rumour rather than today’s announcement – Pegg and Frost playing the Thompson Twins, and Serkis playing Haddock himself. The screenplay was written by Steven Moffat (the new Doctor Who showrunner), Edgar Wright and Joe Cornish, and Spielberg will direct this one, with a planned second feature for Peter Jackson, who’s also producing.

It’s not clear yet whether the first instalment will cover only The Secret of the Unicorn or also fold in its immediate sequel, Red Rackham’s Treasure, but there is apparently room for two more instalments should things go well. So what say you? With this cast list and today’s news, we’re rather excited. Even if they haven’t yet answered the most essential question of all: who’s playing Snowy?