As a child, I was always vaguely afraid of Popeye the Sailor Man. He seemed like the kind of cartoon who would give you a backhand slap for no good reason, and I was always afraid for Olive Oyl and Swee'Pea. The whole cartoon seemed to be a textbook example of abuse. (Wikipedia says Olive beat Popeye up! I don't remember that! Either way, there's a lot of hitting and threats going on.) But I must have just been a very odd child, because Avi Arad and Sony Pictures love Popeye enough to bring him back to the big screen and lovingly render his freakish physique in 3D.

According to Variety, the project comes out of the friendly rapport Arad and King Features' (and former Marvel leader) Scott Sassa. Sassa brought the project to Arad and Sony, and they're negotiating with Mike Jones to write a screenplay. The level of love Arad and Jones have for Popeye can only be described as heady. But good for them! Some of us love Spongebob Squarepants and some of us love Popeye, and it just takes all kinds to make a world.

The Popeye plot is being kept very secret, and all Arad will confirm is that it will feature the usual suspects of the sailor man: Olive Oyl, Swee'Pea, and bad guy Bluto. But don't expect a simple tale of spinach and love triangles -- Arad says the new movie "will cover the themes of friendship, love, greed and life, and focus on human strengths and human frailties." Wow. I say we get Lars Von Trier on this, work this Popeye strip into the plot, and we've got something the whole family can enjoy!