The Wachowskis upload... 'Speed Racer'?

152210__speed_lFilmmakers in Hollywood fight all their lives for the right of self-determination, the freedom to be an artist. The Wachowski brothers, those shadowy Matrixsmiths of impassive, sunglasses-at-night pizzazz, have fought for that right and won. Their hands untied, they can make bold choices. And they have chosen… er… Speed Racer.

Now I’m not disputing the legitimacy of that choice: If Hollywood can make a Transformers movie with a straight face, then vintage jet-age anime is certainly fair game. And The Matrix Reloaded demonstrated nothing if not a new and supercharged approach to that hoary convention, the high-speed chase. (Actually, that should read “demonstrated nothing BUT…”)

But dude, if you could make anything in the world — anything, now — would you do Speed Racer? Certainly there are richer veins to mine. Why not exhume and ruin Working Girl, for example? Oh that’s right — someone’s already on that.

addCredit(“Speed Racer: Everett Collection”)

Here’s the weirdest part: Vince Vaughn was once attached to thisproject, and may still be. Rumor is, he’ll do a cameo as Racer X,Speed’s mysterious rival/ally. Vaughn plus The Wachowskis in ananime-derived action flick… I cannot image the tone of this film. But Iam, in spite of myself, intrigued. My opinion, though? You’ll neveroutdo the best Speed Racer update of them all: Robert Smigel’s "Go, George Clooney!" from Saturday Night Live.

Long as we’re on the subject of potentially bad ideas for adaptedJapanimation: Where’s my Voltron movie, already? I know the Lions hadthat falling out a long time ago (was Yoko bad for Black Lion? Thedebate rages on…). And I think the Green one had either a sex change ora religious experience, but surely, for the right money, you could getthem all hooked up again.


Comments (14 total) Add your comment
  • Vivi

    I just know about this cartoon because of the Geico commercial. Classic.

  • Some Guy

    Yeah Voltron was great. They should deff remake Clash Of Titans but this time cut out all the boring scenes where they dont do anything but stare at the sky. I heard someone is redoing it. Hopefully they know what they are doing. The FX better be phenomenal darnit.

  • Mr. Williams

    A “Speed Racer” film, interesting. I guess visually it could be Spectacular!!! And the talented Wachowski Brothers have the ability to succeed, especially if the story is equally Spectacular!!! I vote for the Car Acrobatic Team (from the 3 part episode “The Most Dangerous Race”) as the prime villains. Can’t wait to see how the film develops.

  • Adam

    How would you cast it? Do you think Keanu will drive the Mach 5?

  • aa

    after the two extremely disappointing matrix sequels i’m not sure i want to see anything they make.

  • Jasper

    Why? Really….why? How many Tv show/Cartoon movies have been that successful? Comic Books, Okay but once they got to Hellboy you knew they ran out of characters known outside of Geekdom. Then when they tried originals we got ‘Shark Boy and Lava Girl’! Please leave TV on Nick At Nite and the Cartoon Network (and our hearts) where it belongs.

  • Erik J. Heels

    FYI, your feed is not rendering properly (displays raw XML) in SharpReader . See the Feed Validator for more info .
    Your feed has been broken for about a week.

  • Auriana

    This frightens me on several levels. I’d love to see a Voltron movie so long as it was decently done. I know they’ve had it listed up on imdb for awhile as being announced. For a Voltron fix, get the dvds…they just released the first volume and the second is being released this month. To my dismay, they advertised that it would have the original Japanese but they lied, only the English. Still great stuff though.

  • Ep Sato

    Voltron was made into live action in the 1990’s when Wu-Tang Clan’s first album. “we form like Voltron”, or so they claimed.
    Speed Racer was fantastic cheese, and the Mach 5 is the only car that worth choosing over James Bond’s Astin Martin or even the 60’s Batmobile.
    Oh, and of course, they should totally get Jessica Simpson to play Trixie (tee hee hee).

  • t3hdow

    aa, I think you’re judging the Wachowski bros. too much on the Matrix trilogy. Their biggest mistake was making the sequels in the first place (well, Animatrix was actually pretty good), since there’s no way they could’ve followed up on such a brilliant sci-fi film.
    I admit, V for Vendetta wasn’t quite as good as I hoped, but I know they probably have untapped potential beyond the Matrix trilogy.
    Speed Racer? Puzzling choice…but I’m game.

  • obsessivegiantscompulsive

    FYI: Racer X is Speed’s old brother who ran away after crashing their dad’s proto-type race car, and became a secret agent (really!), and keeps a watchful eye over his little brother.
    If I remember right, Speed Racer reruns were shown on MTV – was Voltron ever given such prime viewing real estate in recent years? This would give Speed Racer a wider audience of recent, as well as heritage/vintage (my generation), fans to draw from for the audience.
    Unless Vince Vaugh is a great actor – and maybe he is – he can pull off Racer X, but in the TV series, Racer X was a very serious personality, so Vince will have to turn off the wisecracks, glibness, and fast talk that most of his fans, including me, love about him. Kind of pull off a Tom Hanks equivalent to do drama. Unless the W. Bros. want to go in a totally different direction – which is not impossible, most re-makes do not hew that closely to the memories of fans – Vince don’t see like a good match.
    Trixie is more like Keira Knightley. The kid in The Kid (Breslin?) would be good for Spridle, Speed’s younger brother. I suppose the chimp will have to be CGIed into the movie, like Scooby. Pops would be someone like Mark Addy or that guy from King of Queens.
    Speed? Keanu would be too old, maybe in his Bill and Ted days. Patrick Dempsey in his younger days would have been good too.
    Tom Welling, if he slimmed down a little, would be a good Speed Racer, I think. Freddie Prinze Jr. would be another choice, if Welling wasn’t available. Also, Ryan Reynolds would be good too.
    That guy who was in Reunion who is now in Brothers and Sisters might be good too, for an undiscovered non-movie guy. Will Estes, who was also in Reunion, might be another choice.
    For Racer X, I’m thinking Rob Estes would be great for the role, though he’s probably a little too old now. Then you could put Keanu and Dempsey here too.

  • Ep Sato

    Obsessive, you are right. MTV reran the series in the early to mid 1990’s on Sunday nights, which is where I saw the series for the first time. Incidentally, the dvds are pretty cool and came in tire tread packaging.
    I can’t think of who to cast for it, but hope that the movie is like the show with lots of unrealistic looking stunts and car crashes. And that Mach 5 better jump over at least one other car…


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