It has been known for a while now that Sony has been keen on attempting a big screen revival of Popeye, and there is news to report today on that front in regards to the film’s director. Variety is reporting tonight that the gig is going to Hotel Transylvania’s Genndy Tartakovsky who made his name in television by way of Star Wars: Clone Wars and Dexter’s Laboratory.
The iconic comic strip property has been relatively lost for a generation, so it is definitely going to be another one of those opportunities that allow parents to introduce something to their kids from their own childhood. What better way to spend an afternoon with your family than eyeing a spinach junkie while you chow down on overpriced movie theater concessions?
Popeye looks to be in good hands if the freshly-released theatrical trailer for Hotel Transylvania has anything to say about it. There seems to be a lot of positive buzz about Tartakovsky’s first theatrical effort which has a vampire (Adam Sandler) trying to keep his daughter (Selena Gomez) away from a human boy at all costs (Andy Samberg.) It is assumed at this point that Sony likes what they see from early interest which is why the studio handed over the keys to this franchise to a relative newcomer.
Expectations for Popeye will be very high as franchise revivals in animated form tend to be very reliable box office draws. The best comparisons might actually be to live-action/animated hybrid films as of late that came in the form of Alvin and the Chipmunks and The Smurfs. Both of these generated $100′s of millions despite critical disdain because of their properties’ inherent allure. It is conceivable that Sony is already writing this one down for a global haul of $300+ million in 2014 or whenever this movie finally hits theaters.
It might be worth mentioning now that there was indeed that live-action adaptation of Popeye in 1980 which starred comedian Robin Williams in the title role. While nobody expects a side-by-side to prove valuable, it should probably be mentioned that the movie did manage to find $50 million from the domestic box office which is rather good considering this was over three decade ago.