Though an animation test for the long in-development Popeye movie debuted online last year, director Genndy Tartakovsky says he’s no longer involved with the project, which might not even be made at Sony Pictures Animation.
“Popeye we put up a great screening, everybody really liked that sizzle, we got a positive reaction,” he tells Moviefone. “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.”
Created by E.C. Segar, Popeye first appeared in the already established “Thimble Theater” comic strip in 1929. Introduced as a walk-on character, Popeye eventually became the strip’s star. In 1933, The Fleischers began to produce animated Popeye cartoons which lasted through the 1940s. The sailor man also came to the big screen in 1980 with Robert Altman directing and the late Robin Williams in the lead.
Tartakovsky is best known for creating “Powerpuff Girls,” “Dexter’s Laboratory” and for his work on the traditional animation “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” cartoons. He made his feature film debut helming Sony’s Hotel Transylvania, and is also helming the sequel, which will see release on September 25, 2015.