Sad news for anyone eagerly anticipating the CGI animated Popeye movie that was being planned at Sony. Director Genndy Tartakovsky, best known for his Samurai Jack TV show and the 2012 hit Hotel Transylvania, is no longer with the project. Not only that, it may no longer be happening at Sony.
Genndy Tartakovsky's next project is Hotel Transylvania 2, which comes to theaters this fall. The first teaser trailer was released earlier in the week, with Moviefone speaking to the director. Even though an animation test for Popeye was met with enthusiasm, the recent regime change at Sony has seen production on the high seas adventure come to a halt. He explains:
"Popeye we put up a great screening, everybody really liked that sizzle, we got a positive reaction. I was in love with what we were doing, but I think the studio is going through changes and I don't know if they want to make the Popeye that I want to make. So they've got to make a decision. Right now, I'm off that project and moving on to the other one that we soft-announced, which is "Can You Imagine?" which is an original idea of my own and a very personal story. It was hard to let Popeye go, but that's the business."
It isn't known at this time if Popeye will seek out another director, or if the project will be completely scrapped. As Sony did with the upcoming Steve Jobs biopic, its possible they will pass the movie off to another studio. Paramount Pictures released the first Popeye movie back in 1980, which was a live-action adaptation of the popular comic strip first introduced in 1929. It starred Robin Williams and Shelley Duvall. There had been talk of having Robin Williams reprise his role as Popeye, providing the voice, but that was before he passed away last year. Popeye, which follows the exploits of a weather-beaten sailor who gains super strength from eating spinach, has been seen in many animated shorts and TV series throughout the decades. You can rewatch the animation test sizzle reel again here in case you missed it the first time, or forgot that it even existed: