“Speed Racer” an animated series that has been around since the 1960’s is an adaptation of a Japanese anime called “Mach Go Go Go”. Over the years Speed Racer became quite the successful franchise, with a devoted fan base. Similar to any other phenomenon of media history Hollywood has decided to cash in and finally bring Speed Racer to the big screen. The following is the current updated news on the film set to be released in May of 2008.
The plot is to be based off of the cartoon, which is to say it follows a young race car driver as he seeks racing glory. His adventures are helped along by his family and the Mach 5, a special car created by his father. To direct this story along are the infamous brothers: Andy and Larry Wachowski.
The Wachowski brothers are most well know for their creations ” The Matrix” trilogy and more recently “V for Vendetta”. The brothers will also be writing the screenplay, with characters and the original basis of the Speed Racer story being accredited to Tatsuo Yoshida. One of the producers on board is Joel Silver and according to statements made by him most of the film will be shot in front of a “green screen”; with filming scheduled to begin in June, in Berlin.
As for the cast, the title role of Speed has been given to one Mr. Emile Hirsch. Hirsch can be seen most notably in the films, “The Girl Next Door” and “Alpha Dog”; or maybe you caught him in “Lords of Dogtown” and “The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys”. John Goodman and Susan Sarandon have signed on to play Speeds parents: Pops and Mom Racer. Also, the latest breaking news for the cast is the addition of Christina Ricci, filling the role of Trixie: Speed’s girlfriend. Interviews with both Emile and Christina can be found on you tube.com via the following links.
Aside from you tube, where you can also find posted clips from the actual cartoon episodes, Speed Racer the animated series has its own website at: speedracer.com.
The movie, if you failed to catch on, is indeed a live action piece, and to help with the special effects the Wachowski brothers have enlisted John Gaeta, among others. Gaeta is an award winner having been the primary effects person for “The Matrix”. Rumored also is that the film will be made on high definition video and marks the first time the brothers have used the technology. If one wishes to know of films also having incorporated the use of High definition they need only to look at the newer works of director Michael Mann, with “Collateral” and “Miami Vice”.
Obviously the Speed Racer cast is not completely filled out, however the project is quickly on its way through the production hoops. Speed Racer upon its release can be expected to be a big affair and geared towards being a family friendly experience.