Growing up we were suckers for the 60’s anime classic Speed Racer. It aired on MTV at 6:30 a.m. and paired up with Beavis and Butthead at 7 a.m., made rolling our asses out of bed well worth it.The show centered on a young car racer, his pet monkey, his father the mechanic,Trixie his girlfriend and his nemesis the shady Racer X. The show was just gripping enough in an oddly compelling, oddly humorous way in the half-hour cartoon format, but you could tell there was always the potential for a big screen adaptation. It seemed like a relic, something that landed from another planet. Which maybe for a young person growing up, that’s exactly what Japan is. Another planet with strange cartoons.
The Wachowski Brothers, cooling their heels after directing the Matrix Trilogy and producing V for Vendetta, have gotten back into directing and they’ve decided to sink their teeth into producer Joel Silver’s Speed Racer. They seem to be an odd choice for the G-rated family friendly affair. Right out of the gate it’s been rumored to be a green screen flick, similar to Sin City and 300. Which, we hope will be a wise choice, if not an interesting one. I wonder if they’ll go realistic or with a anime stylized look.
Now word comes that two actors have joined Emile Hirsch (Speed Racer), John Goodman (Pops Racer) and Susan Sarandon (Moms Racer) in the cast. Finding a repreive from the island, Lost’s Matthew Fox is stepping into the racing leathers of the mysterious Racer X. And after her sexy turn as nymphomaniac in Craig Brewer’s Black Snake Moan, one of our favorite hotties (despite her rather ginormous forehead), Christina Ricci will be playing Speed’s girlfriend Trixie.
Speed Racer is expected to start lensing this summer in Berlin for a 2008 release. We’re hoping they keep the old theme song, or if they have to update only do so minimally. Enjoy the interview with star Emile Hirsch, in which he describes the look of the film as Blade Runner meets Andy Warhol pop art. Hmmmm….