Is a Popeye: The Sailor Man Movie Releasing In 2024? Dwayne Johnson Film Speculation Explained

By Richard Nebens Posted:
Popeye, The Rock

Is Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson making a new Popeye movie releasing in 2024?

The Rock Popeye Movie Rumor Explained

YouTube user FoxStar Media published a 72-second trailer of what appeared to be a live-action Popeye movie said to be releasing in 2024 and starring Hollywood superstar Dwayne Johnson.

Along with some epic dialogue teasing a cinematic debut for "the spinach-loving sailor" with "muscles flexing in determination," footage shows a collection of pirate ships sailing through various oceans and storms along with a sandy cove.

The trailer closes with a title card reading Popeye The Sailor Man along with a hashtag for the movie and text reading "coming soon."

This comes years after filmmaker Genndy Tartakovsky expressed a desire to make a Popeye movie, even telling SlashFilm in May 2020 that he was "destined" to make the film:

"From a young child, I was already destined to make one movie. And that movie was Popeye."

Tartakovsky was set to make an animated Popeye movie at one point, with a sneak peek of test footage for the movie even making its way online in 2014. Plans for the project fell apart in 2015, with Tartakovsky chalking it up to the studio "wanted to do Popeye for the brand recognition" rather than out of love for the character:

"They wanted to do 'Popeye' for the brand recognition and I loved the character and grew up with it, so there was a tug of war. They wanted it really updated, and I can only update it a little before it isn't Popeye anymore."

Additionally, Dwayne Johnson actually dressed up as Popeye for Halloween in 2018, showing the world his costume on his Instagram page and teasing what he could look like in a live-action retelling of the comic strip.

Unfortunately, this trailer can fairly easily be debunked as a fake, meaning there is no Popeye movie starring The Rock coming next year, or at all for that matter.

The trailer is made up of clips from other Hollywood hits from the last 15 years, including Johnson's own Jungle Cruise movie from 2021.

Fans also see a shot of the Black Pearl locked in a bottle from Johnny Depp's Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011) along with a clip of the two treasure-filled pirate ships from Tom Holland and Mark Wahlberg's Uncharted (2022).

Will a Live-Action Popeye Movie Be Made?

With King Features currently holding the rights to Popeye and the aforementioned movie being left in development hell years ago, it seems highly unlikely right now that the classic sailor man will be brought to the big screen.

Robin Williams and Shelley Duvall starred in a live-action rendition of Popeye in the '80s, though was not too well received upon release.

Considering Dwayne Johnson is still arguably the busiest actor in Hollywood, he may not even have time to make a movie like this amidst so many other movies on his plate.

His next movie will see him teaming up with Captain America star Chris Evans for a wild Christmas adventure titled Red One, which is still rumored to be released on Netflix before the end of 2023.

Then, he's expected to reprise his role as Luke Hobbs in 2025's Fast & Furious 11 after a shocking return to the franchise in Fast X's post-credits scene, with that film not yet in production.

On top of that, Disney announced that he would be an executive producer on a live-action retelling of Moana, where he will also reprise his animated role as Maui in that film as well. Johnson recently confirmed that the Moana remake would be his next project while speaking to Jimmy Fallon, via Comicbook, indicating that he's already slots in schedule filled up.

That's not even mentioning that a sequel to 2021's Red Notice was confirmed to be in the works, which likely won't get to start its own production until Johnson's co-star Ryan Reynolds finishes his work on Deadpool 3 in 2024.

Should Johnson really be in line to do a Popeye live-action movie, it almost certainly wouldn't be able to go into production for a few years, especially with no indication that the movie is even on the table right now.

- About The Author: Richard Nebens
Richard Nebens joined The Direct in March 2020, now serving as the site's Senior Writer and also working as an assistant editor and content creator. He started his journalism career as a hobby in 2019 and is passionate about sharing news and stories from the entertainment industry, especially comic book movies, comedy, and sci-fi. Richard looks to expand his knowledge about movies and TV every day, and he is eager to stay locked into the latest releases and breaking news at every opportunity.