Live-Action ‘Speed Racer’ Series In The Works At Apple With J.J. Abrams Producing

Per Variety, a live-action Speed Racer series is in the works at Apple TV+. The company has already given the show a series order, and J.J. Abrams will be executive producing the project under his Bad Robot banner. Ron Fitzgerald and Hiram Martinez will write the series and serve as co-showrunners.

Speed Racer began as a manga titled Mach GoGoGo in 1966, and quickly turned into a hit anime in 1967. When the original series debuted, it helped popularize anime in the United States. The series followed the adventures of race car driver Speed Racer and his now iconic ride, the Mach 5.

His crew consists of his father and car builder Pops Racer, his little brother Spritle, his pet chimpanzee Chim-Chim, and girlfriend Trixie. He also frequently crosses paths with the mysterious Racer X.

The series received new life when Nickelodeon aired the Japanese remake of Speed Racer with English dubs in 2002, and a film was made by the Wachowski sisters in 2008. It was critically dismissed at the time but has since become a cult classic thanks to its impressive visuals and from-the-heart sentimentality.

That 2008 film led to a new series titled Speed Racer: The Next Generation on Nickelodeon, but it only ran for two seasons. Until now, that was the latest Speed Racer content. Now Apple think it’s a piece of IP worth reviving.

The creators running the show have a lot of experience, with Fitzgerald co-creating the Perry Mason series for HBO and previously working on shows like Westworld, Weeds, and Friday Night Lights. Martinez has also worked on Snowpiercer, The Last Ship, and Snowfall. So there’s plenty of talent here to make the show a success.

The duo would be smart to take a lot of tips from the Wachowski’s film, which is one of the few live-action movies to truly feel like its animated source material. Speed Racer is not an idea grounded in realism, so hopefully the showrunners commit to making this as wacky and enjoyable as can be.

There will no doubt be more news to come regarding the show, especially with Apple already giving it a series order. The original Speed Racer anime can currently be viewed on Crunchyroll.


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