Chris Evans is Captain America? Big deal. The real comics casting call that’s going to whip the fan community into a raucous frenzy will be over who should play Popeye. See, that irascible spinach-loving sailor will be getting his own feature film down the road, according to Empire. Avi Arad, the main who brought Marvel up into its current status as a bonafide multi-media superpower is producing this 3D CG animated project.
I’ve always had a soft-spot for Popeye. Perhaps it’s the fact the only green I actually enjoy eating is spinach (and man, you have to be careful about eating too much of that stuff. Ewwwww…). I think it has more to do with the character’s dichotomy. He’s a goofy guy who gets into all sort of goofy situations, but he’s still more or less a real life sailor, rough edges and all. I mean, the guy cursed like a sailor in the original comic strips by E.E. Segar before he had to clean up his act. And, in a bit of meta-fiction, he actually enlisted in the Navy and fought the Japanese during World War II. So he’s dangerous as far as cartoon characters go.
This is sort of coming on the heels of the announcement of the new Smurfs movie over the past couple weeks (although this won’t integrate live action). While I think the Smurfs have a better shot at reaching kids today, I’m not sure how well Popeye’ll speak to modern children. Will they accept such a knucklehead into their hearts? There, of course, already was that bizarre live action musical movie from the 80s that starred Robin Williams…
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-- Tom Pinchuk is the writer of UNIMAGINABLE for Arcana Comics and HYBRID BASTARDS! for Archaia. Watch out for the HYBRID BASTARDS! hardcover collection this March - - available for pre-order now on Amazon.com.