Tartakovsky next project- a 3D CGI version of Popeye– has been cancelled. Tartakovsky has been working toward a theatrical film based on the popular sailor man for the last couple years. In fact, last year, he released a short animation proof of concept of the proposed film.
Tartakovsky announced the cancellation on his blog on March 12, 2015. According to Tartakovsky:
Popeye, at least, we put up a great screening, everybody really liked that sizzle, we got a positive reaction. 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. So they’ve got to make a decision…It was hard to let Popeye go, but that’s the business.
The changes Tartakovsky refers to are likely the ouster of Sony Pictures Digital Productions president Bob Osher and his replacement by former DreamWorks producer Kristine Belson at Sony Pictures Animation. According to The Animation Guild, Belson “is likely itching to put her own stamp on SPA, so look for some previously-announced pictures to be pushed back… or pushed overboard.”
Tartakovsky’s third project- Can You Imagine?– looks to still be on track, but no firm date has been announced.
September’s Hotel Transylvania 2 is a sequel to 2012’s Hotel Transylvania. Convinced by and starring Adam Sandler, Tartakovsky was the sixth director brought in on the original, though it was his first time ever helming a feature film.