Sony Animation going from ‘Smurfs’ to ‘Popeye’

Sony Animation, who brought us this year’s animated movie take on “The Smurfs” are now concentrating on bringing another classic property back to big screen, with “Popeye” ready to set sail.

Not wanting to ruin a winning formula, the studio has lined up Jay Scherick and David Ronn, who co-wrote “Smurfs,” as screenwriters of the 3D CG film.

The spinach-powered, muscle-bound hero “Popeye,” along with his gal pal Olive Oyl and the villainous Bluto, was created for the comic strips by E.C. Segar, and later gained famed in animated form at Fleischer Studios from the 1930’s through the ’50s. In 1980, the character was revived for the big screen, with Robin Williams playing a live-action Popeye in a musical directed by Robert Altman.

“Scherick & Ronn have a remarkable talent in re-energizing beloved characters,” says Sony’s Bob Osher in a release.  “As they demonstrated with ‘The Smurfs,’ they embrace the iconic characteristics of these timeless characters and craft a story that really engages moviegoers today.”

“The Smurfs” has made over $550 million worldwide since opening in late July.

We’re thrilled that Jay and Dave are helping us reintroduce Popeye to a new generation,” added Michelle Raimo Kouyate of Sony Pictures Animation. “Their take on the world of Popeye has just the right blend of comedy, adventure and heart — all the elements that made a great animated film.

Popeye has been my childhood favorite character,” says producer Avi Arad. “To me he was always the everyday man who gets special powers and actually becomes the first superhero in the best meaning of the word. When Scott Sassa called, Ari and I were beyond excited to be working with Jay Scherick & David Ronn and Sony Pictures Animation to bring this iconic character to the big screen in glorious stereoscopic 3D. We enjoy working with the Sony Pictures Animation team and with Rocky and company from Hearst Publishing. I cannot wait to go sailing!”

Who do think should provide the voice of Popeye?