A new Popeye the Sailor Man live-action movie is being made; but why?

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Popeye the Sailor Man was one of my favorite cartoons growing up as a kid in the late ’70s and ’80s. Even back then, the character was old (created in the ’20s), but had been repurposed and enhanced through the magic of technology. Now, Chernin Entertainment is using the magic of 21st century technology to resurrect the iconic character once again.

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

This time, the spinach eating muscle man is to be featured in a live-action movie. This isn’t the first time Popeye the Sailor Man was done live-action. Robin Williams portrayed the character in the 1980 movie, Popeye. That film was not well received and is still generally thought of as a flop. Williams should have left the character as part of his comedy routines and nothing more. It was far more effective in those routines than it was as a movie.

Popeye the Sailor Man Live-Action

But here we are again. According to Variety, the project is currently in development as a big-budget feature, and has attached screenwriter Michael Caleo (Sexy Beast, The Family, The Sopranos). Variety goes on to say that the original Popeye movie, with Robin Williams and Shelley Duvall, has gained “cult status and critical reconsideration.” They point to the films $20 million budget and its worldwide $60 million gross. I couldn’t disagree more, the film was subpar at best and remains hokey and not worth the effort to watch.

I’m by no means a Popeye the Sailor Man detractor or hater. As I mentioned in my opening, this character was one of my favorites as a child, and it helped shaped my pop culture world. That is precisely why I question, why do we need a live action movie? Why not let the character exist in the world in which he is beloved?

Creating Popeye for a live-action movie is certainly going to entail the heavy use of CGI and AI tools. Which, in my estimation, will only serve to make the character less believable. Perhaps I’m wrong, perhaps they will utilize practical effects over computer-generated ones, but I hold little hope of that happening. We have enough movies made with computers, we don’t need this one made that way.

Dwayne Johnson?

There are also rumors and AI trailers emerging with Dwayne Johnson as Popeye, another potentiality that irritates me. I like Dwayne Johnson, I think he’s made a few films that were excellent. But he has saturated the market and seems to be the go-to guy for action films over the past ten years. But Johnson is the least of the problems for a live-action Popeye the Sailor Man, the simple fact that it is in development is bad enough. Let the sailor rest in peace already.

AI-made trailer

Wrap Up

What do you think? Do you want a new live-action movie about Popeye? Would you want Dwayne Johnson to play the roll? How much of this new “live-action” movie do you think will actually be live-action? How much do you think will be CGI and AI tools? You may comment by using the social media buttons below. Share on your favorite social media site and tag us on Facebook, X, MeWe, and LinkedIn. Or join our Telegram channel here.

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