He's still at work putting the finishing touched to Hotel Transylvania, but Sony clearly like what they're seeing. The CG animation wing of the studio has now secured Genndy Tartakovsky's continuing services, and he'll next direct the Popeye film that Sony has been developing for a while.
First announced in 2010, Popeye is being produced by Avi and Ari Arad, with a screenplay by David Ronn and Jay Scherick (Zookeeper, The Smurfs). Popeye is, obviously, the famously squinty, spinach-guzzling, mumbling sailorman, beloved of Olive Oyl and less enamoured of Bluto, who first appeared in comic strips and animated cartoons in the 1930s.
Ronn and Scherick have "embraced the iconic characteristics of these timeless characters and crafted a story that will really engage moviegoers," said Sony last year. They'll be hoping to "engage moviegoers" a lot more than Robert Altman's barking mad Disney musical version did in 1980.
3D CG is not, of course, the signature style of Tartakovsky, who was the animation guru behind the beautiful 2D stylings of Samurai Jack and the orginal two-dozen episodes of The Clone Wars. As we said, however, all signs for Hotel Transylvania are currently positive, suggesting that the new technology suits his palate after all.
Work on Popeye should start in the autumn. Given the time commitment that animation demands, it might be a while before we see Tartakovsky's planned Samurai Jack feature.