Sony is developing a completely CGI Popeye for the bigscreen, with scribe Mike Jones in negotiations to adapt.
According to Variety, Avi Arad is producing the project. This would be the first feature to bring back Popeye, who hasn't been seen on the bigscreen since 1980, when Robin Williams starred in a live-action version helmed by Robert Altman.
"I'm an unabashed, lifelong Popeye fan," said Jones, who is a Variety alum. "Introducing this squinty-eyed sailor to a new generation also means reintroducing him to those who, like me, grew up with him."
The logline is being kept under wraps, but Popeye's love interest Olive Oyl, nemesis Bluto and adopted child Swee'Pea will be part of the adventure. Arad says the new version will cover the themes of friendship, love, greed and life, and focus on human strengths and human frailties.
"Popeye" will be made by Sony Pictures Animation, with Sony Pictures ImageWorks handling the CG.
The spinach-loving hero, who spawned the longest-running series of talking animated shorts, is considered a merchandising gold mine, with Popeye toys, books, puzzles and games. Studio says the character, whose likeness is used widely to hawk green veggies, is the world's No. 1 licensing character in food.
No production date has been set.