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Marvel Aims to Screw Over Its Reputation

By Dustin Rowles | Industry | September 25, 2009 |

By Dustin Rowles | Industry | September 25, 2009 |

One of the items of note that sort of slipped under the radar when we were discussing the next round of Marvel Studio movies was a tidbit announcing that Marvel (now owned by Disney) had secured the right to Popeye, with the intention of developing a CGI-movie based on the iconic cartoon character.

It didn’t take long for Disney to fuck over Marvel, huh?

Putting aside the fact that the live-action version of Popeye, directed by Robert Altman, of all people, and starring Robin Williams, was one of the absolute worst movies ever made, Marvel is still climbing uphill with this adaption for one simple reason: No one cares about Popeye anymore. He may be one of the most venerable cartoon characters through the 1980s, but unlike Transformers or even GI Joe, I can’t imagine there’d be even the smallest modicum of interest in the character anymore. To my knowledge, the cartoon is nowhere to be seen on television (and likely for good reason — the themes probably wouldn’t sit well with modern audiences) and, best I can tell, the last original episodes of Popeye were aired in 1983. Add the fact that the character, itself, doesn’t really fit into our modern culture any better than the candy cigarettes he used to promote (Jesus: How many people remember candy cigarettes? They were surprisingly tasty).

All of which is to say: Hollywood can continue to bring back old characters all it wants, but I seriously doubt there’s a market for a spinach-eating, grammatically challenged strong-armed doofus, his hamburger-gobbling mooch of a friend, a fat-ass villain, and a whiny, emaciated damsel of a girlfriend. And it certainly doesn’t fit in well with the rest of Marvel’s properties.

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Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.