Sony Pictures is bringing the massive forearmed spinach loving sailor to the big screen in the form of CGI animation and obviously in 3D. Now Popeye will really be able to punch you in the face. Former Marvel executive Avi Arad who helped develop Spider-Man, X-Men and several more films is also producing Popeye and hopes to turn into into a successful franchise. Screenwriter Mike Jones is in negotiations to adapt they script.
The project was brought to Arad by King Features Syndicate, which is owned by Hearst Entertainment and Syndication. They currently control the Popeye property. Why bring it to Arad? Because he used to work with Hearst president and former Marvel executive Scott Sassa. You also may remember we reported back in September that Arad had acquired the rights to Popeye.
We don't know much about what the film will be about, but it's been revealed that 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.
The studio sees Popeye having huge money making potential especially with merchandise. Popeye is an iconic character, one that I used to watch as a kid, I loved Popeye! I would love for this feature film to end up being great, but chances are it won't be, mostly because Sony Animation doesn't really impress me. I like that the film will be in full CGI, and not a live-action/animated hybrid. No details are revealed about how they will go about making the film, but I think it would be awesome if they go the same route that Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson went in developing Tintin, by using motion capture and top of the line CGI animation. I seriously doubt that they will do that, but I think that it's the only way to properly bring Popeye to life on the big screen. Regular CGI just won't have the same impact, especially weak animation.
The film will be made by Sony Pictures Animation, with Sony Pictures ImageWorks handling the CG. Now if you've seen Sony Animations other films, then you know the kind of design that were going to get. It's very simple stuff, and no where near as good as what Pixar has accomplished. They don't really get into the cool little details that some of the other animation houses get into. In the end it all comes down to the script and story so lets hope that they get that right.
I'm curious to see if a new generation will latch on to Popeye and buy into this iconic character. There are those of us who grew up watching the animated cartoons and the 1980's Robin Williams movie, but as far as I know the generation of kids out there have not really been exposed to the character yet. I guess it's up to the parents to introduce them to it when the movie comes out.