A new live action take on Popeye in the works

Robin Williams in 1980's Popeye
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The spinach-guzzling, Brutus-bashing sailor Popeye is set to return in a live action feature-length film, according to reports.

For those of us of a certain generation, Popeye is an unforgettable figure. He was a mainstay of Saturday morning cartoons, taught us that pipe smoking and violence were acceptable choices (ahem) and perhaps most impactful of all, he ruined spinach for the rest of our lives.

Anybody growing up with Popeye on their screens must get mildly disappointed every time they munch on some spinach and their muscles don’t immediately pop out to incredible proportions.

As well as featuring in regular cartoon appearances, the character also got the movie treatment all the way back in 1980. The pipe-chewing sailor was bought into live action by none other than director Robert Altman and played by the wonderful Robin Williams. Shelley Duvall would co-star in the film as well, forming quite the creative team and yet, 1980’s Popeye isn’t really a film that gets mentioned too much these days, even by fans of Williams’ body of work.

While the film wasn’t loved upon release, appreciation did grow for it over time but still, it’s not a movie that gets name-checked all too often these days. Perhaps that’s because the Popeye character doesn’t seem to have retained its popularity over the ensuing decades, but that could be about to change with the news that Chernin Entertainment and King Features are teaming up to create a brand new live action feature film with Popeye and his chums.

The production companies are said to be on the hunt for studio backing for the project.

Sexy Beast screewriter Michael Caleo is penning the project which should arrive before the character’s 100th birthday (Popeye turns 95 this year).

A big-budget feature would certainly raise the profile of the character and bring Popeye and his legacy of spinach deceit back into the public consciousness. If you have any thoughts on who could play the musclebound sailor (surely Dwayne Johnson’s name has to come up?) and continue down the trail first blazed by Robin Williams, let us know in the comments below.


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