Genndy 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 (the traditionally-animated version).
This fall's Hotel Transylvania (watch the latest trailer) marks Tartakovsky's debut as a feature-length animation director. Tartakovsky's involvement with that 3D animated monster comedy is the main appeal for many a film geek. He's not especially well-known by the masses, though, which is why Tartakovsky's name has been pushed aside - in favor of the celebrities who lent their voices to Hotel Transylvania (in marketing for the film, that is).
Sony heads, however, have taken notice of Tartakovsky's work - and been keen to attach him to one of their in-development animation projects. A fresh report from Variety reveals the studio has successfully set Tartakovsky to develop and direct its upcoming 3D film adaptation of the classic Popeye franchise (which originated in comic strip form, back in 1929). Now that Tartakovksy will be spearheading the project, it should start to coalesce relatively quickly, after having spent more than two years lingering in the pre-production state.
Early Hotel Transylvania footage suggests the film benefits from Tartakovsky's energetic approach to storytelling; moreover, his imaginative approach to 2D animation appears to translate well into 3D. That alone provides good reason for most everyone to at least be curious about how Tartakovsky will refashion E.C. Segar's iconic, spinach-popping "Sailor Man" for a new generation of moviegoers (while still appealing to those who grew up watching animated Popeye shorts).
Less intriguing, however, are the people onboard to pen the 3D Popeye movie. The screenwriting duo in question is that of David Ronn and Jay Sherick, whose resume includes script work on I Spy, National Security, Norbit, Zookeeper, and The Smurfs. Whether or not their filmography provides an accurate reflection of the comedy style (and overall quality of work) we can expect from the new Popeye: that remains to be seen.
We'll continue to keep you updated on Popeye as the story develops.