Tartakovsky Gives “Popeye” Update

Animation director Genndy Tartakovsky (“Samurai Jack,” “Hotel Transylvania”) tells IGN that the trick with his upcoming 3D CG animated feature reboot of the “Popeye” franchise is to find a way to make it click with modern audiences. After all, the character was first introduced in 1929.

“Well, that’s the biggest challenge, that’s exactly it. The only reason that I took it is that they gave me the script and I didn’t like it. And I said, ‘If you want me to do Popeye, it has to be broad physical comedy with half the dialogue that a normal movie has and you want it to be really visceral.’ And they said, ‘Yes, that’s what we want.'”

“So that’s the thing. We’re going to do it like ten times more cartoony than even what we did with Hotel T because that’s what Popeye is. But the biggest challenge is how do you take a tattooed, pipe-smoking sailor into today? So that’s a challenge that we’re definitely trying to figure out. How to make it contemporary, but not taking everything away from what’s been done.”

Sony Pictures Animation is releasing the project which “The Smurfs” scribes Jay Scherick and David Ronn are penning and Avi Arad is producing. The character was previously adapted into a live action feature in 1981 starring Robin Williams.