A regular on film sets, Michael Balzary has, over the decades, played everything from an intrusive nihilist at home to The great Lebowski to himself in Bruce Weber’s must-see documentary Chet Baker are we going to get lost. Now, the man known professionally as Flea has obviously been feverishly rehearsing for the biggest role of his life between tour dates with the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
Taking to his Twitter account over the weekend, the bassist hinted that he was beyond excited to play one of the most famous characters in anime history.
“If a good director decides to make a popeye movie, I’m your man,” Flee tweeted.
It wouldn’t be the first time this had happened. Hollywood legend Robert Altman put together a lavishly done live action popeye in 1980, with Robin Williams playing the spinach-obsessed, punch-obsessed sailor.
Widely criticized at the time, the film has since been revisited as an artsy and chaotically weird surreal film that has been wrongly overlooked. And there’s no denying that surreal artistic and chaotically bizarre are the two terms that define Flea’s career with the Red Hots.
Recall, if you will, the early years of the band when they took to the stage wearing nothing but neon paint and tube socks. Don’t forget the giant light bulb headgear during Dave Navarro’s brief time. And consider that the bassist is one of the few 59-year-old men on the planet who can pull off hair that looks like Baskin-Robbins’ rainbow sherbet tub.
If there is a good director, Quentin Tarantino, David Lynch, Sofia Coppola or Jane Campion, anyone? popeye reboot not only has its leader, but a set that begs to be used again. The promenade and 19 wooden buildings built for Altman’s film version of the town of Sweethaven still stand intact in Malta, where they form the popular tourist attraction and open-air resort known as Popeye Village.