Apple TV+ is working on a live-action Speed Racer with J.J. Abrams as an executive producer.
According to Variety, has greenlit the series with Ron Fitzgerald and Hiram Martinez attached to write and executive produce in addition to serving as co-showrunners. As stated previously, Abrams will executive produce under his Bad Robot banner.
This would be the second live-action version of the iconic Japanese character, following the 2008 film written and directed by The Wachowskis and starring Emile Hirsch in the title role.
The 2008 movie revolved around Speed Racer, an 18-year-old automobile racer who followed his apparently deceased brother’s career, choosing to remain loyal to his family and their company Racer Motors, which causes difficulties after he refuses a contract that E.P. Arnold Royalton, owner of Royalton Industries, offers him.
Originally developed in 1992, that Speed Racer film had been in development hell, having changed actors and filmmakers until in 2006 when producer Joel Silver and the Wachowskis collaborated to begin production on Speed Racer as a family film.
Released on May 9, 2008, by Warner Bros. Pictures. The film grossed $93 million worldwide on a $120 million budget, making it a commercial failure. However, since then it developed a cult following and in in 2008, a sequel was contemplated by the Wachowskis.
Actress Christiana Ricci considered a sequel a possibility; she stated, “When we [the cast] were all leaving, we were like ‘write the sequel!’ ‘We want to come back’. And they [the Wachowskis] were like, ‘I know. I know. We’re going to. Don’t worry'”, adding she would like more action scenes to her character.
Producer Joel Silver said the Wachowskis “have a great story idea for a sequel” but that it is “a great idea for a sequel if it makes sense to make it.”. In 2018, Hirsch stated in a tweet that a sequel script has been written.