<i>Popeye</i> Getting <i>Smurfs</i> Treatment in Sony 3D-Animated Feature

The recycling and rejuvenation of classic cartoon characters continues with the spinach-loving, muscle-bound, Olive Oyl-loving Popeye.

Sony Pictures Animation has tapped Jay Scherick and David Ronn to write Popeye's triumphant return to the big screen. The duo had great success with this year's live-action/CGI mash-up The Smurfs and hope to parlay that into the Sailor Man's upcoming flick, which will be an animated stereoscopic 3D venture.

"Scherick and Ronn have a remarkable talent in re-energizing beloved characters," Bob Osher, president of Sony Pictures Digital Productions, said in a statement. "As they demonstrated with The Smurfs, they embrace the iconic characteristics of these timeless characters and craft a story that really engages moviegoers today."

Created by cartoonist E.C. Segar, Popeye debuted in the comic strip Thimble Theatre on Jan. 17, 1929, eventually becoming the title character. He quickly made the jump to film, in animated shorts produced first by Fleischer Studios and then by Paramount's Famous Studios. In the decades since, Popeye has appeared in comic books, television cartoons, video games and, in 1980, Robert Altman's live-action musical feature, which starred Robin Williams and Shelley Duvall.

In addition to bringing the Smurfs to the big screen, Scherick and Ronn have also co-written Serving Sarah, I Spy, National Security and Zookeeper. Considering their previous efforts have been a mix of action and comedy, the duo seems like a good fit for the fisticuffs-loving Popeye.

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