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Helmer moves Sony’s 3D ‘Popeye’ forward

Genndy Tartakovsky attached to cartoon adaptation

Hotel Transylvania” helmer Genndy Tartakovsky is attached to develop and direct “Popeye,” Sony Pictures Animation’s 3D take on the familiar sailor man.

Avi and Ari Arad will produce under their Arad Productions banner with Sony Pictures Animation. As of November, scribes David Ronn and Jay Scherick were attached to pen the script.

Popeye, the spinach-loving seaman who first appeared in the “Thimble Theater” comicstrip in 1929, spawned numerous spin-offs, including one of the longest-running series of animated shorts and Robert Altman’s 1980 film starring Robin Williams.

SPA production prexy Michelle Raimo-Kouyate and production SVP Michael Lachance will oversee the project for the studio, which was keen to put Tartakovsky on another project soon after “Transylvania” wrapped. Sony will release “Transylvania” in September.

Tartakovsky is currently attached to direct a feature version of Cartoon Network’s “Samurai Jack,” which he also created.

Sony’s toon arm has found success with “The Smurfs” and “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs,” which grossed $559 million and $243 million worldwide, respectively. Both pics currently have sequels in the works.

Studio’s most recent release,”Pirates! Band of Misfits” performed more modestly — budgeted at $55 million, pic earned $104 globally.

WME reps Tartakovsky. Sony Pictures Animation declined to comment.

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