Blow me down: SPA hires writers for 3D Popeye film

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Sony Pictures Animation

Sony Pic­tures Animation

Sony Pic­tures Ani­ma­tion has set screen­writ­ers Jay Sch­er­ick and David Ronn to write the screen­play for an all-new Pop­eye ani­mated fea­ture, based on the iconic char­ac­ters of comic strip and car­toon fame, the stu­dio announced Thursday.

Pop­eye is the sec­ond project for Sch­er­ick and Ronn with Sony Pic­tures Ani­ma­tion fol­low­ing their suc­cess with this summer’s block­buster The Smurfs, which has grossed more than $550 mil­lion world­wide since its July 29 open­ing. SPA and Arad Pro­duc­tions are pro­duc­ing the stereo­scopic 3D ani­mated feature.

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

We’re thrilled that Jay and Dave are help­ing us rein­tro­duce Pop­eye to a new gen­er­a­tion,” com­mented Michelle Raimo Kouy­ate, pres­i­dent of pro­duc­tion for Sony Pic­tures Ani­ma­tion. “Their take on the world of Pop­eye has just the right blend of com­edy, adven­ture and heart — all the ele­ments that made a great ani­mated film.”

Pop­eye has been my child­hood favorite char­ac­ter,” said pro­ducer Avi Arad. “To me, he was always the every­day man who gets spe­cial pow­ers and actu­ally becomes the first super­hero in the best mean­ing of the word. When Scott Sassa called, Ari and I were beyond excited to be work­ing with Jay Sch­er­ick and David Ronn and Sony Pic­tures Ani­ma­tion to bring this iconic char­ac­ter to the big screen in glo­ri­ous stereo­scopic 3D. We enjoy work­ing with the Sony Pic­tures Ani­ma­tion team and with Rocky and com­pany from Hearst Pub­lish­ing. I can­not wait to go sailing!”

Last spring, Sch­er­ick and Ronn began work on the sequel to The Smurfs. They also wrote the orig­i­nal script for the upcom­ing Bay­watch adap­ta­tion for Para­mount, and the pair is cur­rently work­ing on a com­edy pilot for ABC.

Sch­er­ick and Ronn have writ­ten together since they met when they both worked for a New York-based cor­po­rate bar­ter­ing com­pany. From a staff writ­ing posi­tion at NBC, the team segued into three years on Spin City, where they served as writer/producers.

Sony Pic­tures Ani­ma­tion is sched­ul­ing the fam­ily com­edy Hotel Tran­syl­va­nia for release in the fall of 2012. The divi­sion is also in pro­duc­tion with Aard­man Ani­ma­tions on two fea­ture films: the CG-animated fam­ily com­edy Arthur Christ­mas (3D), in the­aters this month, and the stop-frame ani­mated high-seas adven­ture The Pirates! Band of Mis­fits (3D), due next March.

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