By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood March 23, 2010 at 3:55AM
For screenwriter Mike Jones, maybe getting laid off from Variety a year ago was a good thing.
Having divided his time as scriptwriter and journalist, Jones left Variety (where we worked closely together) and abandoned one career with a decidedly iffy future for another. Lo and behold, he is making a living as a screenwriter (script The Minotaur Takes a Cigarette Break is in the works at the Gotham Group) and Monday Variety announced that Jones will be writing the latest iteration of comics muscleman Popeye for Sony Pictures Animation and producer Avi Arad (Spider-Man). It will be an all-CGI animated feature, in 3-D.
"What fascinates me about Popeye is that he is both an unbounded superhero and a supreme underdog," Jones writes in an e-mail. "He is over eight decades old, has been served by several authors, and is a lasting merchandising phenom. Quite a feat for a 'squinty-eyed, runty sailor,' as Bluto would call him. It is a testament to a fantastic core character created by E.C. Segar and I'm humbled to be another steward."