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Tartakovsky to Direct 3D 'Popeye' Feature

“Hotel Transylvania” director Genndy Tartakovsky is attached to develop and direct “Popeye,” Sony Pictures Animation's 3D take on the familiar sailor man.

Hotel Transylvania director Genndy Tartakovsky is attached to develop and direct Popeye, Sony Pictures Animation's 3D take on the familiar sailor man.

According to a report from Variety, Avi and Ari Arad will produce under their Arad Productions banner with Sony Pictures Animation. As of November, screenwriters David Ronn and Jay Scherick were attached to write the script.

Popeye, the spinach-loving seaman who first appeared in the Thimble Theater comic strip in 1929, spawned numerous spin-offs, including one of the longest-running series of animated shorts and Robert Altman's 1980 film starring Robin Williams.

SPA production president Michelle Raimo-Kouyate and production SVP Michael Lachance will oversee the project for the studio, which was keen to put Tartakovsky on another project soon after Transylvania wrapped. Hotel Transylvania , which Sony will release in September, marks Tartakovsky’s debut as a feature-length animation director.

Tartakovsky is the mastermind responsible for some of the more unique (and popular) cult 2D animated TV series to hit the airwaves over the past 15 years, including, The Cartoon Cartoon Show, Powerpuff Girls, Dexter’s Laboratory, Samurai Jack, and Star Wars: Clone Wars. Tartakovsky is currently attached to direct a feature version of Cartoon Network's Samurai Jack.

Sony's animation arm has found success with The Smurfs and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, which grossed $559 million and $243 million worldwide, respectively. Both films currently have sequels in the works.

Sony’s most recent release, Pirates! Band of Misfits performed more modestly -- budgeted at $55 million, the stop-motion feature earned $104 globally.

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