(TC) Popeye: The Reckoning” Cast Speculation: 10 A-Listers Who Could Fill Robin Williams’ Shoes!

With an upcoming live-action Popeye movie in the works, there are plenty of Hollywood actors who could step into Robin Williams’ shoes and portray the strong-armed, spinach-eating sailor man. Originally based on a comic character created in 1929, Robert Altman’s 1980 Popeye movie starred Williams’ as Popeye, and Shelley Duval as a perfectly cast Olive Oly, in a film that received negative reviews upon release but has since gained a cult following and retrospective appreciation. A musical comedy comic book adaptation, Williams’ portrayal of Popeye represented a charming and unique comic adaptation full of heart and slapstick humor.

It would be difficult for any contemporary movie star to live up to the comedic skills of Robin Williams, however, several actors came to mind when it came to casting the latest Popeye adaptation. As a hilarious character who also exhibited great heart and determination, to effectively portray Popeye, the actor needed expert comedic skill, a flair for heartfelt drama, a likable quality, and musical prowess. While it will be no easy feat to pull off such an iconic character, several actors could follow Robin Williams’ well-known stint as the fast-fighting sailor man called Popeye.

10.Hugh Jackman

Hugh Jackson’s skill for action, comedy, and musicals make him the perfect Popeye

Hugh Jackman as Wolverine in The Wolverine (2013) looking angry
Hugh Jackman's Wolverine topless in X-Men
Hugh Jackman as Jean Valjean looking serious in Les Miserables Hugh Jackman as P.T. Barnum performing on stage in The Greatest Showman.
Hugh Jackman in his red coat as PT Barnum in The Greatest Showman poster

Jackson has already shown himself an incredible musical star in Les Misérables and The Greatest Showman.

The Australian actor Hugh Jackman already proved himself capable of embodying an iconic comic book character in Jackon’s long-running role as Wolverine from X-Men and would surely excel as the strong-armed sailor man known as Popeye. If the upcoming live-action Popeye decided to mimic the musical stylings of the 1980 version, Jackson has already shown himself an incredible musical star in Les Misérables and The Greatest Showman. Throughout his career, Jackson has consistently showcased that he has the action star quality, comedic skill, and musical talents to lead a new Popeye movie.

9.Jon Hamm

Jon Hamm has the comedic and dramatic skill needed to become a great Popeye

Jon Hamm in Confess Fletch

With equal skill in comedy and drama, Jon Hamm could walk the fine line of Popeye’s heartfelt characterization and over-the-top slapstick humor. While Hamm was primarily known as Don Draper on the AMC drama series Mad Men, he had several memorable comedic stints on projects like BridesmaidsUnbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, and Curb Your Enthusiasm. A leading role in Popeye would be a great opportunity for Hamm to shed his pretty boy persona in the eyes of the public, stretch his acting chops with a unique role, and step into the world of comic book movies.

8.Daniel Craig

Daniel Craig could showcase his skill for accents in the role of Popeye

Daniel Craig as Benoit Blanc looking puzzled outdoors on an island in Glass Onion A Knives Out Mystery

After starring as James Bond, Daniel Craig should try something entirely different and play the part of Popeye the Sailor Man. While Craig was known as an action star, his background as a student at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama hinted at his ability to tackle any role he wished to pursue and his often-underrated skill as a comedic actor. Craig’s distinctive Southern drawl as Detective Benoit Blanc in Knives Out especially showcased how well he could emulate Popeye’s unique speaking style, complete with sailor’s jargon, guttural gibberish, and iconic mottos like “I yam what I yam.”

7.Jack Black

Jack Black would bring a likable energy to the part of Popeye

Jack Black as Ignacio Nacho in Nacho Libre. Jack Black as Dewey Finn in School of Rock. Jack Black in the forest wearing a hat and glasses In Jumanji Next Level Jack Black in Bernie Jack Black in The Mandalorian season 3, episode 6.

If the latest adaptation of Popeye wished to go over the top in its characterization of the world’s most famous sailor man, then Jack Black is the perfect man for the job. With a likable quality and impressive comedic skill, Black has the musical talent to exceed Robin Williams in the earlier Popeye adaptation and could bring real heart to what, at its core, will likely be a love story between Popeye and Olive Oly. Black should have no issue playing this fighting sailor man as he already proved his ability as a Lucha libre wrestler in Nacho Libre.

6.Terry Crews

Terry Crews has the heart and the muscles needed to pull off the role of Popeye

Julius in a promo image for Everybody Hates Chris.

Crews never looked like he had any issue eating his spinach.

The actor and former professional athlete Terry Crews appeared in memorable roles across countless comedies including White ChicksIdiocracy, and Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and a live-action Popeye movie would be the perfect place to showcase his leading man talents. With a brooding, muscular physique, Crews never looked like he had any issue eating his spinach, and his good-natured persona, mixed with innate charisma made him the perfect choice for Popeye. As a strong but sensitive performer, Crews would bring real heart to the part of Popeye.

5.Dwyane Johnson

Dwayne Jonhson is already the real-life embodiment of a post-spinach eating Popeye

Dwayne Johnson's Frank looking sternly in Jungle Cruise

In the Variety announcement about the live-action Popeye movie, references were made to fan-made trailers that featured Popeye “as a castaway warrior with Dwayne Johnson proportions,” considering this, Johnson may be the perfect choice to play the fast-fighting ferryman. Casting someone as strong as Johnson in the role may require using CGI to represent him in his pre-spinach stage, but this could be achieved in the same way Chris Evans became Skinny Steve in Captain America. Johnson’s skill as a former WWE wrestler, comedic lead in movies like Jumanji, and powerful presence made him an ideal choice for Popeye.

4.Ryan Reynolds

Ryan Reynolds could expertly portrayed a more tongue-in-cheek and modern Popeye

Ryan Reynolds' Deadpool in the Deadpool & Wolverine trailer

The character of Popeye the Sailor dated back to 1929 and for an upcoming movie to work it must be updated for modern times, and no actor is more capable of meeting this requirement than Ryan Reynolds. The tongue-in-cheek persona Reynolds brought to his role in Deadpool would be ideal for an updated 21st-century version of Popeye, Reynolds could play with the outdated gender dynamics between Popeye, Olive Oly, and the fearsome antagonist Bluto, to create a film that felt like both an homage to the original comic strips and relevant to a modern audience.

3.Seth Rogen

Seth Rogen could provide a new spin on the character of Popeye

Seth Rogen looking serious in Long Shot

An interesting twist on the character of Popeye would be to cast Seth Rogen in the part of the spinach-eating sailor. With impeccable comedic timing, Rogen has proved his ability to blend action and comedy in films like Pineapple Express, and his role as executive producer for the TV series Preacher and The Boys showcased his impressive comic book credentials. An actor of underappreciated versatility, Rogen brought both laughs and drama to his role in The Fabelmans and a leading part in a new comic book movie could make up for the disspointment of The Green Hornet.

2.Charlie Day

Charlie Day would commit entirely to the role of Popeye

Charlie Day from Its Always Sunny in Philadelphia Charlie showing off his conspiracy map in It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia Danny DeVito and Charlie Day in Season 14 Latte (Charlie Day) in the makeup chair in Fool's Paradise It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Charlie Kelly as Charlie Day as Serpico in Season 3

In his role as Charlie Kelly in It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Charlie Day exhibited great skill at over-the-top comedy, intense characterization, and impressive musical prowess, all of which would contribute greatly to an upcoming Popeye movie. Day’s impersonation of Al Pacino in Serpico during Season 3 of Always Sunny perfectly showcased his willingness to lose himself in iconic roles and give himself over to characters as beloved and bizarre as Popeye. While Day had impressive outings in movies like Pacific Rim and The Super Mario Bros. MoviePopeye would be a chance for Day’s unique talents to truly shine.

1.Dave Bautista

David Bautista has the fighting and acting chops needed to pull off the part of Popeye

Edited image of Dave Bautista during Dune 2 interview

As a former WWE wrestler, Dave Bautista would have no issue portraying the fighting side of Popeye the Sailor Man, and his strong filmography full of action and comic book movies made him the perfect candidate for the role. Best known as Drax the Destroy in Guardians of the Galaxy, Bautista has consistently gained larger roles, such as Glossu Rabban Harkonnen in Dune, and would be perfect for a new Popeye. Bautista’s career has been on an upward trajectory for many years now and a leading role in a major film like Popeye could cement his movie star status.

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