Popeye the Sailor Man to get a new live-action adaptation

The legacy cartoon character is now set to be re-adapted into a feature film from Chernin Entertainment and King Features.

popeye the sailor

The 1980 Robert Altman film Popeye, which gave Robin Williams his first starring role, is kind of a divisive film. It made an admirably grand attempt at adapting the cartoon into a live-action hyper-reality. Not unlike Warren Beatty’s Dick Tracy. However, many find the Popeye film hard to swallow and the film was panned by critics. The 1920s cartoon tough guy who likes his spinach would remain somewhat relevant as a mascot here and there. In the 90s, the now-defunct regional theater chain, Dickinson Theaters, had featured the Sailor Man, his girlfriend Olive Oyl and even Bluto in some ads and some promotional merchandise. However, for the most part, Popeye is mostly known to the masses through reputation.

The character would celebrate his 95th anniversary this year and Variety now reports that there will now be a new live-action adaptation of the Popeye character set for release. According to Variety, “The project is currently in development as a big-budget feature, and has attached screenwriter Michael Caleo (Sexy Beast, The Family, The Sopranos).” The film will be coming from Chernin Entertainment and King Features. There is no other word on the project but with the surge of wrestlers turning into legitimate actors, musclemen like Dwayne Johnson, John Cena and Dave Bautista will surely be thrown around. Perhaps even Ryan Gosling or Chris Hemsworth, both who are known for building up their physiques as well as having comedic sensibilities. Reacher‘s Alan Ritchson could even break out of his usual mold for the project.

Popeye would additionally be named as a key inspiration for the menswear collections from brands like Moschino, Supreme and A Bathing Ape. The famous character is also naturally still the face of McCall Farms spinach, as the cartoons feature him eating the vegetable in order to gain the power to pummel threats like Bluto and other rivals. The spinach brand carries the Popeye logo and face on their canned goods.

Source: Variety

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E.J. is a News Editor at JoBlo, as well as a Video Editor, Writer, and Narrator for some of the movie retrospectives on our JoBlo Originals YouTube channel, including Reel Action, Revisited and some of the Top 10 lists. He is a graduate of the film program at Missouri Western State University with concentrations in performance, writing, editing and directing.