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film news

Popeye is Sony's sailor man

Posted by Patrick Sauriol on Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Sony Pictures Animation and the producer of the Spider-Man trilogy are working together on a CG Popeye feature film.

It was a business connection that producer Avi Arad had that got him involved with this new Popeye movie. Years before he worked for Marvel Studios, Arad worked with Scott Sassa at the comic book entertainment company. When Sassa moved on to Hearst Entertainment, he kept in contact with Arad. After Arad left Marvel and became an independent producer Sassa arranged a meeting with Arad and pitched him the concept of a new Popeye, one that washed away the residue of the live-action 1980 film that starred Robin Williams as the sea-faring sailor.

"Scott called me and said, 'I have something for you,'" Arad explained to Variety. "I literally started singing the famous Popeye song (after securing the rights). What always blew me away is the level of the animation. It was so beautiful and unbelievably detailed."

The screenplay for Sony's Popeye is being written by Mike Jones, a former writer for the trade publication. All of Popeye's usual gang of friends and enemies will be in the story including Olive Oyl, Popeye's thin romantic attraction; Sweetpea, the little orphaned baby; Wimpy, Popeye's friend who is always borrowing from him for a hamburger; and Bluto, Popeye's nemesis and potential suitor for Olive. It seems that everyone working on the Popeye film want to make a picture that recalls the original cartoons from the 30s, 40s and 50s.

"I'm an unabashed, lifelong Popeye fan," Jones added. "Introducing this squinty-eyed sailor to a new generation also means reintroducing him to those who, like me, grew up with him."

-Variety.

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