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Genndy Tartakovsky's 'Popeye' May Be Happening After All

I yam what I yam
Ask an animation fan which cancelled animated feature they wish would one day make it to screen then Sony Pictures Animation's Popeye feature will often come up. This may seem surprising, as the spinach-guzzling sailorman isn't exactly at the height of his popularity in the 21st century. The reason the project attracted such excitement was that Samurai Jack creator Genndy Tartakovsky was attatched to direct.

Originally announced in 2012, a short proof of concept video was released showing the style Tartakovsky was aiming for. Boasting a wonderfully old-school cartoonish aesthetic, it brought a classic 2D feel into CG animation in a way that hadn't really been seen at the time. Behind the scenes shenanninigans lead to Genddy exiting the project due to 'creative differences' with studio management. The film was quietly shelved soon after.

Now, Animation Magazine is reporting that the project is alive again, citing sources close to the production. Tartakovsky has this time signed on with King Features, who own the rights to the characters.

The report doesn't specify if SPA is involved this time around but Tartakovsky is already signed on to direct two features for the studio- a family feature and one for adult audiences- so it would certainly make sense for it to be. He has long had a good relationship with the studio following the success of the Hotel Transylvania films. The fact he's making more films with them proves there is no bad blood from the original Popeye falling apart. The Sony of 2020 is also a very different beast than it was in 2015, with a change of management and philosophy giving it a whole new lease of life.

Either way, if Tartakovsky wants to direct it himself, this is going to be quite some way off, as he has quite the packed schedule. He's got several films and series already in the works that we'd expect him to finish first.

There's been no offical announcement yet, so this has to be filed under rumours for now. And even if it turns out to be true, there's still no guarantee this will happen. King Features is not an animation studio, so they'll still need to find somebody to actually make the film- be that Sony or someone else.

We really hope it does though- as the proof of concept has us really itching to see this make the finish line this time. Are you excited too? Let us know in the comments below or via our social media channels.