Genndy Tartakovsky On Samurai Jack Movie: It's Getting Closer

The way Genndy Tartakovsky tells it, he had three real opportunities to make a feature-length Samurai Jack movie. Once, even J.J. Abrams was behind it, and the animation director really believed that it was going to happen. Obviously, it hasn’t, but that doesn’t mean Tartakovsky’s giving up hope. In fact, while selling his latest -- Hotel Transylvania -- to the Comic Con crowd on Thursday, he said, “It feels like it’s getting closer.”

To which the packed Indigo Ballroom exploded in applause.

Tartakovsky’s Samurai Jack ran for four years on both Cartoon Network and Toonami from 2001-04. The hero was Jack, a samurai battling hordes of robots, monsters, aliens and other forms of menacing creatures as he lept through time. Ever since the cartoon when off the air, Tartakovsky has routinely teased his audience with a possible film. New Line Cinemas wanted to make one in 2002. Plans surfaced fives years later, then fizzled. In 2009, Abrams approached Tartakovsky and said he wanted to make a Samurai Jack movie.

“I was like, ‘Let’s do it,’” the animator told the Comic Con crowd. But as he recalls, Abrams got very busy with other projects, and Tartakovsky said it was very difficult to keep the project afloat without Abrams power and influence shepherding it along.

If it happens, Tartakovsky says that he’d like it to be in 2D. And he credited the fan base for staying extremely loyal and keeping Samurai Jack on people’s radars for so many years. While it doesn’t sound like a Jack movie will be in theaters soon, it isn’t dead, and that’s all we can hope for at this point.

Sean O'Connell
Managing Editor

Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Having been with the site since 2011, Sean interviewed myriad directors, actors and producers, and created ReelBlend, which he proudly cohosts with Jake Hamilton and Kevin McCarthy. And he's the author of RELEASE THE SNYDER CUT, the Spider-Man history book WITH GREAT POWER, and an upcoming book about Bruce Willis.