Genndy Tartakovsky No Longer Directing Popeye


Even though animation guru Genndy Tartakovsky wowed the world last year with an early glimpse at his work on Popeye, he’s sadly now departed the project. Since the footage debuted, word on the movie has quieted down and now we know why. Sony Animation – who were spearheading the adaptation – are facing difficulties moving forward on the flick.

Tartakovsky announced his departure during an interview with Moviefone (via Coming Soon), in which he described the reasons behind his exit, and the movie’s tentative future:

“Popeye 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.”

Based on that brief sizzle reel mentioned, the early test shots were incredibly encouraging. The Internet lit up with praise – which doesn’t happen often with well-loved pop. culture icons – and championed the studio’s choice of director.

It’s a shame to hear of Tartakovsky’s departure, especially as his exuberance for Popeye stemmed from a life-long love of the character. His wealth of skills and talent should hopefully land a home for his new project Can You Imagine?

Popeye itself appears to be returning to the drawing board. If Sony were unhappy with Tartakovsky’s take, then what exactly are they after? There’s no word from the studio on the spinach-guzzler’s future, but as always, we’ll keep you posted with any new developments.