Fact Check

No, Will Smith Is Not Playing Popeye in Upcoming Movie

The spinach-loving sailor’s movie would allegedly be released in 2024.

Published Dec 30, 2023

 (Screenshot via Facebook)
Image Via Screenshot via Facebook
Claim:
Actor Will Smith stars in a new “Popeye the Sailor Man” film scheduled for release in June 2024.

On Dec. 20, 2023, a viral post on Facebook claimed that actor Will Smith would be starring in a new movie about the cartoon character Popeye the Sailor Man. The post showed a purported image of Smith wearing the sailor hat, holding a pipe in his mouth, with muscled and tattooed arms.

The post stated:

“WILL SMITH IS POPEYE!!!
Ahoy there! Set sail for a spinach-fueled adventure in "Popeye The Sailor Man," starring the incomparable Will Smith as the spinach-chomping hero. From Warner Bros Discovery, this blockbuster hits theaters in June 2024 – a can of laughs, a dash of action, and Will Smith's swagger, making it a seafaring spectacle you won't want to miss! Spinach in hand, get ready for a movie that'll make you say, "I'm strong to the finish 'cause I eats me spinach!"”

The above news is not real and originated from an account on Facebook titled YODA BBY ABY that describes itself as satirical. The Facebook page’s profile states that it is “100% satire and fake news.”

However, many in the comments assumed that the post was a real recounting of events. One commenter wrote, “This is not right, no one can play it better than Robin Williams.” Williams had played the role in the 1980 film “Popeye.”

There was no evidence that such a movie was in the works, not from Smith’s IMDb page, nor from entertainment news outlets. If this were indeed real, an official announcement would have been made by Smith and the production companies involved.

Because the disclaimer is listed on the site's Facebook page, but not on the post itself, Snopes rates this claim as "Originated as Satire."

We have covered satirical posts from the Facebook page “YODA BBY ABY” before.

Sources

Ibrahim, Nur. “‘The Godfather’ Being Remade with Javier Bardem and Oscar Isaac?” Snopes, 20 Dec. 2023, https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/remake-of-the-godfather/. Accessed 21 Dec. 2023.

Popeye. Directed by Robert Altman, Paramount Pictures, Walt Disney Productions, Robert Evans Company, 1980. Accessed 21 Dec. 2023.

“Will Smith | Producer, Actor, Writer.” IMDb, https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000226/. Accessed 21 Dec. 2023.

Nur Nasreen Ibrahim is a reporter with experience working in television, international news coverage, fact checking, and creative writing.