Sony Developing CGI Popeye Movie in 3-D
03.25.10 by BJSprecher
It was first mentioned back in September, almost as an after-thought in an article about the development of Ghost Rider 2, that super-producer Avi Arad had acquired the rights to Popeye with the intention of bringing the venerable spinach-eating sailor to the big screen as a CGI feature. Now, Variety reports that Sony Pictures Animation is moving forward with plans to produce a CGI Popeye feature and it will be in 3-D.
Arad is the man credited by many with rescuing Marvel Comics from bankruptcy and ushering in the current superhero movie craze by producing the popular Blade, Spider-Man, and X-Men movie franchises. Arad continues to produce Marvel properties such as Iron Man and the Incredible Hulk, and he has plans for as many as a dozen other Marvel character adaptations, not to mention his interest in adapting video game, anime and cartoon characters like Popeye. Arad grew up watching Popeye shorts, and said that he was so happy after securing the rights from King Features Syndicate that he burst into song.
I literally started singing the famous Popeye song. What always blew me away is the level of the animation. It was so beautiful and unbelievably detailed.
Mike Jones, the writer of the screenplay The Minotaur Takes a Cigarette Break, which is currently in development at the Gotham Group, is in negotiations to adapt the script. Jones said that he is "an unabashed, lifelong Popeye fan."
Introducing this squinty-eyed sailor to a new generation also means reintroducing him to those who, like me, grew up with him.
Plot details are sketchy, but classic Popeye characters Olive Oyl, Swee'Pea, and Bluto are confirmed to appear in the movie (what, no Wimpy?). The movie is said to "cover the themes of friendship, love, greed, and life, and focus on human strengths and human frailties."