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June 4, 2007 10:50 AM   Subscribe

Emile Hirsch plays the title character. Christina Ricci is Trixie. John Goodman is Pops, Susan Sarandon is Mom. And Matthew Fox plays Racer X. The Wachowski brothers are directing. Hollywood screws with yet another happy childhood memory.
posted by metasonix (60 comments total)

 
This entire project sounds like something someone made up as a joke.
posted by Sticherbeast at 10:54 AM on June 4, 2007


Sad to say, no joke. It's apparently been in "pre-production" for 15 years. In my opinion, Joel Silver is a gold-plated crap artist.
posted by metasonix at 10:59 AM on June 4, 2007


The Mach 5 looks spot-on perfect.

And seriously, I was upset about the butchering of various books, original movies, etc. But dude... it's Speed Racer. The "original content" involved a monkey and 50% of the dialogue being the word "oooooooooooaaaaaahhhhhhhhh."

Much more serious issues are in play here. I mean, they put flames on Optimus.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 11:01 AM on June 4, 2007 [1 favorite]


They're joking, right?
posted by bshort at 11:02 AM on June 4, 2007


Knock Knock

Who's there?

The Wachowski Brothers

The Wachowski Brothers who?

The Wachowski Brothers are directing a live-action remake of Speed Racer where Emile Hirsch plays the title character, Christina Ricci plays Trixie, John Goodman plays Pops, Susan Sarandon plays the mother, and Matthew Fox plays Racer X.

ROFL!!!
posted by Ndwright at 11:05 AM on June 4, 2007 [3 favorites]


What's with the term "retro future" Doesn't that school of design have a specific name, like "futurist" or "art deco"
posted by delmoi at 11:07 AM on June 4, 2007


I am more interested in Larry Wachowski's sex-reassignment aspirations than this movie.

Does anyone know if he's living full time as a woman yet?

I suppose now we have to call them the Wachowski Siblings, instead of the Brothers.
posted by Sully at 11:08 AM on June 4, 2007


I don't think Matthew Fox should play anything. In anything.
posted by smackfu at 11:15 AM on June 4, 2007


I hope the Wachowski Bros. do what they do best: steal the story idea from someone more intellectual and interesting, and then CGI the ever-loving expletive out of it.

Regardless, I'll still watch. I'm addicted to "blockbusters". The hype is like the drug, and the films are usually like detoxing, and I just can't fight it.
posted by chudmonkey at 11:16 AM on June 4, 2007


posted by Sully I am more interested in Larry Wachowski's sex-reassignment aspirations than this movie. Does anyone know if he's living full time as a woman yet?

Unfortunately, no one can be told what the Wachowski is. You have to see it for yourself.
posted by fandango_matt at 11:21 AM on June 4, 2007


All they need to say next is Smash Mouth will be providing the theme song and I will projectile vomit for several days straight.
posted by Dr-Baa at 11:27 AM on June 4, 2007 [2 favorites]


Emile Hirsch. Those trailers of Alpha Dog used to make me throw up in my mouth.
posted by chlorus at 11:31 AM on June 4, 2007


The wachowskis, huh? Let's imagine an excerpt:
SPEED RACER: we'll have to go see my brother, X, chim-chim!

ALL: ohhhaaaaahhhh!!!

SPEED RACER drives off in his CAR.

EXT SHOT: Warehouse. SPEED RACER pulls up in his CAR.

INT SHOT: A GIANT GOD-AWFUL RAVE is in full swing. SPRITLE is snorting COCAINE off a RAVER'S ass. RACER X is DJing while getting serviced from a HERMAPHRODITE in SARAN WRAP. Simultaneously, RACER X is having a SHOOTOUT with NINJAS on ZIPLINES.

SPEED RACER: ohhhaaaaahhhh!!!
posted by boo_radley at 11:32 AM on June 4, 2007 [8 favorites]


You think there'd be one Japanese dude in the film, too, but no.
posted by boo_radley at 11:33 AM on June 4, 2007


Dammit! Why can't the movie industry develop new and interesting ideas on their own instead of mining the creativity of previous decades?

It's not like I've got some kind of nostalgic desire to see Speed Racer and the Transformers remain fixed in some perpetual, "ideal" state, I just think kids (and the rest of us) would be served by new creations rather than reworkings of established traditions.

Goddam whippersnappers.
posted by aladfar at 11:36 AM on June 4, 2007


I know I'm so going to watch this even though my initial reaction was "Whaaa-?" It can be really bad...or really bad in an awesome way. I can't see this turning out well, but doesn't mean I can't enjoy it in my own way.

But then my old Wizard magazine "Casting Call" sense kicked in and I thought, "Hmm...actually, with the right haircut Ricci would make a decent Trixie.
posted by kkokkodalk at 11:43 AM on June 4, 2007


Seconding aladfar's sentiment.
posted by Neilopolis at 11:45 AM on June 4, 2007


I love that metafilter has now gotten so jaded that things suck before they even exist. It's like we have broken the internet speed barrier.
posted by srboisvert at 11:49 AM on June 4, 2007 [9 favorites]


Hey you kids!

Get off my dimly-remembered childhood!
posted by tommasz at 11:49 AM on June 4, 2007 [1 favorite]


Okay, I was on board until I read this:

"Racer is going to be very bright, very family-friendly..."

I always thought of the series as intrinsically dark, with the seedy world of underground circuit racing, a grotesquely disfigured and often homicidal older brother, the incestuous relationship between Trixie and Speed, a father deeply mired in the Afghani opium trade, and the unspeakably sordid love affair between chimp and child.

Hmmm...maybe Speed Racer isn't quite what I remember it to be.
posted by malocchio at 11:52 AM on June 4, 2007 [1 favorite]


Okay, Susan Sarandon actually looks like Mom Racer to some extent. But will they preserve some of the other original features, like Speed's ambiguous orientation and his use of the chaste Trixie as a beard to allay any fears that the rest of the family may have, or will he follow his older brother's footsteps, out himself, and be disowned?
posted by adipocere at 12:02 PM on June 4, 2007


At least Nicholas Cage isn't in it. Let's all thank God for that.
posted by Pecinpah at 12:02 PM on June 4, 2007 [3 favorites]


Jeez, lighten up, people.
I'm curious to see how they
posted by squidfartz at 12:03 PM on June 4, 2007 [1 favorite]


I hope the Wachowski Bros. do what they do best: steal the story idea from someone more intellectual and interesting, and then CGI the ever-loving expletive out of it.

Oddly enough, I just saw V for Vendetta last night for the first time last night. It was exactly that, and I throughly enjoyed it.
posted by psmealey at 12:03 PM on June 4, 2007


Only if Big Black does the soundtrack.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:06 PM on June 4, 2007


Why can't the movie industry develop new and interesting ideas on their own instead of mining the creativity of previous decades?

'Cuz the rubes'll suck it down and ask for seconds.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 12:57 PM on June 4, 2007


srboisvert: we can extrapolate based on existing works. Look at this chart: that shit is exponential.
posted by boo_radley at 1:02 PM on June 4, 2007


Stupid, stupid, stupid. Bad casting. Also: full of people reaching for relevance, instead of being full of people who can confer relevance. Oh, wait, I already said "bad casting".

Damned Wachowski Siblings. I just want to shake some kind pop-culture sense into them.
posted by batmonkey at 1:09 PM on June 4, 2007


Anything with Christina Ricci in it is automatically full of all sorts of win.
posted by WinnipegDragon at 1:16 PM on June 4, 2007


The Mach 5 looks spot-on perfect.

It's close, but it's missing the fins
posted by doctor_negative at 1:17 PM on June 4, 2007


Bad casting? Maybe, but what would constitute good casting for this film? Paul Giamatti as Speed Racer and Forest Whitaker as Racer X?
posted by brain_drain at 1:23 PM on June 4, 2007 [1 favorite]


IthinkcastingJohnGoodmanasPopsRacerisagoodideaandImgoingtoseethemovieevenifotherpeoplesayitsgoingtosuckbecauseIrememberallthecrashesandviolenceandmymomdidnotlikemewatchingSpeedRacerbutitwassofullofactionthatIloveditbutIalwayswonderedwhytheytalkedsofastandwhatkindofassholenameshiskidSpeedandthenforbidshimtoraceforeverHa-Ha!
posted by Smedleyman at 1:33 PM on June 4, 2007 [3 favorites]


Bad casting? Maybe, but what would constitute good casting for this film? Paul Giamatti as Speed Racer and Forest Whitaker as Racer X?

I would have liked a Paul Lynde and Charles Nelson Reilly teamup for that myself, but without twisting the fabric of time that's never going to happen...

I'm willing to wait and see how it turns out myself, but I think we could have done better than John Goodman for Pops. Maybe that's where Giamatti should be...

posted by pupdog at 1:42 PM on June 4, 2007


Stupid /
posted by pupdog at 1:43 PM on June 4, 2007


I hope they have the “OH JEEZUS!!!” levels of apparent balls-out speed the car had. Be worth it just for that.

This “family friendly” business is, yeah, a bit disconcerting. I remember people dying left and right, goons and hooligans attacking everyone with wrenches, slimy weasels with guns, horrific crashes, etc.

(I hear they’re making ‘Underdog’ as well...wtf? Did any of those have, like, a plot? Why not call a childhood remake movie “Blow Your Discretionary Cash.” Might as well make a Magilla Gorilla movie. A young girl is obsessed with a destructive gorilla who wears short-pants, real family entertainment.)
posted by Smedleyman at 1:44 PM on June 4, 2007 [1 favorite]


Speed Racer was indeed violent, dark and creepy. I loved it as a kid in the '70s. My mom wouldn't let me watch it due to the "oh noes violent cartoonz" factor. She was ok with the 3 stooges though.

My buddy's mom had the reverse, no stooges, racer ok. Guess which two houses we spent the summer running between?

/good times.
posted by Aquaman at 2:07 PM on June 4, 2007


Yes boo, that could be it. However I'm worried it won't be good.
posted by phearlez at 2:19 PM on June 4, 2007


if it's not going to have their mouths form different words than they actually say, and use oddly stilted english it's gonna suck. Is it going to be a cgi monkey? ugh.
posted by amberglow at 2:26 PM on June 4, 2007


MoJo JoJo of Powerpuff Girls does that language thing perfectly--he should be the monkey.
posted by amberglow at 2:26 PM on June 4, 2007


This sucks. I was going to putthe red M and number five on my white miata to be cool*, but now I'll just be playing to the hype of this new movie.


*By cool, I really mean "nerdy" (according to my wife)
posted by JibberJabber at 3:00 PM on June 4, 2007


Who is playing Chim-Chim?
posted by punkrockrat at 3:34 PM on June 4, 2007


I first read the credits wrong, and thought it was the Coen Brothers.
posted by jragon at 3:41 PM on June 4, 2007


"Family friendly"? Bah! Back in my day, you could count on Speed Racer to provide a satisfying level of violence and gender confusion that would be found to be wholly unacceptable in today's cartoon entertainments. By the time we reached the '80s, even the G.I. Joe commandos couldn't shoot down the COBRA terrorist jets unless the scene concluded by showing the minions of evil parachuting from their plane. But in Speed Racer times, cars were routinely careening through guardrails and down into bottomless gullies, or spinning out, slamming into walls, and exploding into fireballs, or getting trapped inside the lava tubes of an active volcano to die an agonizing death by slow roasting. THAT was quality TV.
posted by Midnight Creeper at 3:47 PM on June 4, 2007


I always thought Charlie Sheen would make a good Speed Racer.

Who should play Pops? Ditka.

Who is playing Chim-Chim?
"They're using a real monkey," Hirsch says. "Just don't call him that. He's a chimpanzee. He gets upset if you call him a monkey."
posted by kirkaracha at 3:51 PM on June 4, 2007


I'm sorry, but no amount of weed could ever make the old cartoon bearable, and lord knows I tried.

As others have noted, the dark content is already there. All the Wachowski Sibs would have to do to turn Speed Racer into The Matrix would be to take away the bright, garish colors of the original and put the soundtrack into a minor key, maybe with a good backbeat.
posted by lekvar at 4:13 PM on June 4, 2007


My fondest memory of Speed Racer are the episodes where Racer-X is trapped in some future time by the bumbling henchmen of the madman he's trying to stop. Please note that my recollection of this incident may be faulty, but I'll try to recount it as accurately as I can:

So, the henchmen enter their failure mode and leave Racer-X alone for a few minutes in his cell. Naturally, Racer-X neatly cuts his way out of his cell with some kind of sophisticated ring laser and begins dashing through the enemy base sabotaging everything.

The moment in which he demonstrates his inherent greatness -- he is, after all, the true hero of the show -- arrives as he walks up to a laboratory table laden with futuristic devices.

RACER-X: What's this? (He picks up a binocular device and briefly holds it to his eyes). A complete history of the next 100 years? THIS will come in handy LATER.

So, in that moment, he not only identified a technological device that was at least a century more advanced than anything in his time, but he learned how to operate it, and opportunistically took it with him. That's being a kickass hero. That's showing others how it's done. That's Racer-X.
posted by Kikkoman at 4:35 PM on June 4, 2007 [1 favorite]


Somehow, Scott Travis should be involved in this.
posted by Wolfdog at 5:03 PM on June 4, 2007


Personally I prefer the Speed Racer Rock Opera.

Oh yeah, and by the way, I am psychic and I am here to tell you, this movie will blow.
posted by Outlawyr at 5:31 PM on June 4, 2007


"You're the most dangerous man I've ever met and you're wacky!"
posted by gamera at 5:45 PM on June 4, 2007


Next summer, Star Blazers with Nicholas Cage as Derek Wildstar, Lindsey Lohan as Nova and Sylvester Stallone as Captin Avatar.

With special appearances by KITT, playing the part of the Space Cruiser Yamato.
posted by YoBananaBoy at 7:03 PM on June 4, 2007 [1 favorite]


And summer 2009, Neon Genesis Evangelion with Haley Joel Osment as Shinji Ikari, Lindsay Lohan as Asuka Langley Soryu, and Gary Sinise as Gendo Ikari. I suppose Christini Ricci can be Rei. Also, Roseanne Barr as all of the Evas.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:59 PM on June 4, 2007


Hollywood screws with yet another happy childhood memory.

Your memories are your own.
posted by NationalKato at 8:13 PM on June 4, 2007


The more important matter is that, if you take away all the brightly-colored nostalgia and hipster associations (which you have to), Speed Racer sucked and was boring as fuck.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 9:00 PM on June 4, 2007


And summer 2009, Neon Genesis Evangelion with Haley Joel Osment as Shinji Ikari, Lindsay Lohan as Asuka Langley Soryu, and Gary Sinise as Gendo Ikari. I suppose Christini Ricci can be Rei. Also, Roseanne Barr as all of the Evas.

You've got a strange turn to you, ROU_Xenophobe. A strange turn.

(Also, you're missing Jennifer Garner as Misato Katsuragi... although Garner just might not be cool enough.)
posted by Kikkoman at 4:27 AM on June 5, 2007


you're missing Jennifer Garner as Misato Katsuragi

Jennifer Garner doesn't have preposterous anime-sized honkers. Hell, you couldn't even fit her with remotely believable fake ones. Maybe Heather Graham, except Katsuragi does more than stand around and lookbe confused. Angelina Jolie would be good for the underlying crazy.

Apparently there's an actual live-action Evangelion movie in long-term production hell.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:25 AM on June 5, 2007


Next summer, Star Blazers with Nicholas Cage as Derek Wildstar, Lindsey Lohan as Nova and Sylvester Stallone as Captin Avatar.

One of the funniest fucking things I ever saw was a redubbed (re-redubbed?) & re-edited Star Blazers toon with recurring jokes about some kind of super-cornpone and the ship having a device called "Bring Earth Here." When they needed to communicate with home they'd tell someone on the bridge to bring earth here and they'd throw the switch. Cut to a scene of the Earth being torn violently apart, violent winds, etc.

Who took my cornpone?
My spleeeeeeeeeeen!

I swear I wasn't even stoned when I would laugh myself silly watching it.

yes, I am hoping someone here will say they have a copy/share a youtube link
posted by phearlez at 11:53 AM on June 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


Star Dipwads.

I have no idea where to find a copy, though.
posted by Dr-Baa at 1:43 PM on June 5, 2007


The more important matter is that, if you take away all the brightly-colored nostalgia and hipster associations (which you have to), Speed Racer sucked and was boring as fuck.

Said by someone who obviously didn't grow up with only 5 or 7 channels, and Speed Racer and Gigantor on every day (for me and my brothers, it was what we watched every single morning, and we loved it--it was so very different from our cartoons.).
posted by amberglow at 8:04 PM on June 5, 2007


The boss says this is down and this is sideways. Now go tell the others!
posted by erniepan at 5:41 AM on June 7, 2007


Christopher Walken as Chim-Chim

Would anyone miss something so glorious?
posted by uri at 12:59 PM on June 8, 2007


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