In 2012 there was confirmation that Sony Animations would be making a film of E. C. Segar’s Popeye with renown artist Genndy Tartakovsky directing the film, he described the film as one a passion project and Popeye was one of the cartoons he fell in love with when he first immigrated from Russia. Two years later, test footage of the animation was revealed and it promised expressive animation and classic physical comedy.

Sony Pictures Animation: Popeye Animation Test

An interview in 2015 with Mr. Tartakovsky with Moviefone revealed that he was taken off the project, citing that the Studio was going through changes and that he had a feeling that he wasn’t going to make the Popeye Movie that he had visioned:

“[Laughs] We definitely won’t be talking about Hotel 3, with me at least. Popeye, at least, 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.”

Genndy Tartakovsky

King Features has been bringing back classic Comic Brands to a new generation with refreshed animated updates, including a new 2D animated Popeye cartoons called “Popeye: Island Adventures” which was launched in 2018 for the character’s 90th anniversary. It was confirmed by Animation Magazine that Genndy is teaming up with King Features for another chance at Popeye.

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