Home Entertainment Genndy Tartakovsky gives an update on his SAMURAI JACK and POPEYE films

Genndy Tartakovsky gives an update on his SAMURAI JACK and POPEYE films

3 min read

He had a little boy genius teach us how to say cheese omelette in French, gave us one of the coolest Star Wars villains (who George Lucas then promptly nerfed into a robotic, multi-limbed asthmathic), and soon Genndy Tartakovsky will be putting his own spin on the classic movie monsters in his first feature film, the animated Hotel Transylvania.

But what about the Russian born animator’s two other projects that’s been stuck in limbo for a while now? When do we get to sharpen our katana’s and crack open a can of spinach?

Tartakovsky gave an update to IGN on the film adaptation of his critically acclaimed cartoon series, Samurai Jack, another of his projects that has been talked about for ages, but has really not been going anywhere, leaving some to doubt whether or not it would ever get made.

“I’ve been trying so hard every year, and the one amazing thing about Jack is that I did it in 2001, you know, and it still survived. There’s something about it that’s connected with people. And I want it, it’s number 1 on my list, and now Bob Osher, the President (of Digital Production at Sony Picture Entertainment), is like ‘Hey, let’s talk about Jack. Let’s see what we can do.’  And I go, ‘You’re going to do a 2D feature animated movie?’ and he’s like, ‘Yeah. Maybe. Let’s do some research and let’s see.’ So it’s not dead for sure by any means, and it’s still on the top of my list, and I’m trying as hard as I can.”

While he may be trying, it may just be the case of being a little busy at the moment. Besides for Hotel Transylvania, Tartakovsky has also been set to develop a CG 3D version of Popeye for Sony since 2010. We haven’t heard all that much recently, but he gave IGN this update when asked about the difficulty of bringing the classic spinach chomping cartoon character to life for a modern audience:

“Well, that’s the biggest challenge, that’s exactly it. The only reason that I took it is that they gave me the script and I didn’t like it. […] And I said, ‘If you want me to do Popeye, it has to be broad physical comedy with half the dialogue that a normal movie has and you want it to be really visceral.’ And they said, ‘Yes, that’s what we want. […] So that’s the thing. We’re going to do it like ten times more cartoony than even what we did with Hotel T because that’s what Popeye is. But the biggest challenge is how do you take a tattooed, pipe-smoking sailor into today? So that’s a challenge that we’re definitely trying to figure out. How to make it contemporary, but not taking everything away from what’s been done.”

I actually think that Popeye is not such a hard sell for contemporary audiences. In essence, tattoos and pipe be damned, he’s still just a guy trying to get his gal. And if audiences could accept the alcoholic Captain Haddock in last year’s Adventures of Tintin, then this really shouldn’t be that much of an issue.

Last Updated: September 13, 2012


  1. I am just dying for an explanation for Popeye’s arms. Hope they include THAT in the movie


  2. James Francis

    September 13, 2012 at 10:11

    Cool. A nice animated Popeye film sounds like a good idea and not just a cold cash-in. Plus they need to finish the Samurai Jack story.


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