Genndy Tartakovsky’s animated ‘Popeye’ revived

Genndy Tartakovsky is teaming up with King Features to go back to the drawing board on his long-awaited Popeye animated feature. Tartakovsky, who has won Annie and Emmy, and was nominated for Golden Globe has directed Sony Pictures Animation’s Hotel Transylvania trilogy and created celebrated series Dexter’s Laboratory, Samurai Jack (both Cartoon Network), Primal (Adult Swim) and, in collaboration with Lucasfilm, Star Wars: Clone Wars (CN). The film was originally announced for the Sony Pictures Animation slate in 2012 and an animation test for Tartakovsky’s “as artful and unrealistic as possible” CG interpretation of E.C. Segar’s classic character was revealed in 2014. But, in 2015 the director revealed he was off the project, saying, “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.” The studio later announced that writer T.J. Fixman (Ratchet & Clank) had been brought on to pen a new Popeye screenplay (a previous version had been written by The Smurfs scribes Jay Scherick and David Ronn). On its own, King Features launched new 2D Popeye cartoons, Popeye’s Island Adventures, on YouTube in 2018 to mark the character’s 90th anniversary. Last year, the company announced development of an animated series based on MDHR’s award-winning, retro toon-inspired game Cuphead with Netflix.