Genndy Tartakovsky No Longer Directing 'Popeye'

Popeye - H 2014
Sony Pictures Animation

Popeye - H 2014

The director of 'Hotel Transylvania 2' is off the Sony Pictures Animation feature about the famous sailor after having created test footage.

Genndy Tartakovsky is no longer directing the Popeye feature that has been in development at Sony Pictures Animation.

The director — who helmed 2012’s Hotel Translyvania as well as its sequel, which is set for release Sept. 25 — oversaw an animated test of Popeye that took the two-dimensional sailor man into a more fully rendered CGI world, which the studio showed off last September.

But in an interview with Moviefone to promote the upcoming Hotel Translyvania 2, Tartakovsky revealed that he is no longer involved in the Popeye project, saying, “I was in love with what we were doing, but I think the studio is going through changes and I don’t know if they want to make the Popeye that I want to make.”

In January, Kristine Belson, a veteran of DreamWorks Animation, joined Sony Pictures Animation as its new president.  Sony’s animation division, which previously reported to Bob Osher, who stepped down last month as president of Sony Pictures Digital, is now part of the motion picture group, headed by new chairman Tom Rothman.

Tartakovsky remains involved in another project SPA is developing called Can You Imagine?, which could become his next film at the studio, which also said that Popeye remains in active development.