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Don’t Forget To Check The Trunk For Children And Monkeys

December 7th, 2007

This could be very cool or very, very awful: the Wachowski brothers (the guys who brought us The Matrix, for better and worse) are doing a film adaptation of my all-time favorite cartoon series, Speed Racer. USA Today has posted the first production photos, and I’m guardedly optimistic about them.

This is one of those films shot mostly in front of greenscreens (ala 300 and Sky Captain), and if the photos are any indication, the Wachowskis appear to be going for a gaudy hyper-reality. That’s not necessarily a bad thing; what I liked most about the cartoon was its excess.

In the world of Speed Racer, it wasn’t enough to have a cross-country road race. The course had to involve bottomless chasms, active volcanoes, or be at least partially-underwater for it to be worthy of the Mach 5. It was a given that all but a handful of racers would die in horrible, fiery wrecks, and that Speed would win the day by tearing through the pack in the last few seconds before the finish line. Speed Racer ruined real race cars for me; who wants to see cars maneuvering politely around a flat oval?

Certainly, it’s only now that this gravity-defying speedway insanity can be properly depicted in live action. If there’s at least one scene in which the Mach 5 rips through a forest at 150 mph tearing trees to shreds with its rotary cutters, I’m there.

Plus (and this is why Vic will be there with me), it has a monkey in the trunk.

Update: And here’s the trailer! Fuck, yeah!

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