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Extreme Sneak Peek: Speed Racer Is Cast, Gassed Up and Ready to Go Go Go!

Categories: speed racer
Speed Racer

There may be plenty of blockbusters left this summer, but let's take a quick look at one of the big titles already announced for next year: The Wachowski bros. big-screen, live-action version of Speed Racer. The cast is all in place, and it's looking good—mostly.

Emile Hirsch

Now, I got really excited when I first heard the news that a Speed Racer flick was in the works. Well, 10 years went by, and I thought it would be one of those titles that just slipped through the cracks (G.I. Joe, Hugh Hefner biopic, etc.). But in the last 18 months, Warner Bros. has been full "speed" ahead, first attaching brothers Larry and Andy Wachowski, marking the brothers' first writing/directing collaboration since their groundbreaking Matrix movies. A solid choice.

Next the lofty task of casting the title player, Speed Racer. It came down to three choices. Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Shia LaBoeuf and Emile Hirsch. It looked like Shia was locked and loaded, but Spielberg and Indy Jones 4 came calling, and he backed out. Superproducer Joel Silver settled on the Alpha Dog himself, Emile.

Christina Ricci

Next came his leading lady, and again, it came down to three names. Reuniting Emile with The Girl Next Door's Elisha Cuthbert was discussed. So was pairing him with the beautiful rising star Kate Mara (Shooter, 24). That would have been my choice. Instead, Christina Ricci (who passed on playing Turtle's girlfriend on Entourage, by the way) will play opposite Hirsch as Trixie.

While everybody knows I'm a huge Ricci fan, especially of the work she's done lately, I gotta say I'm a little disappointed. She's almost above this movie. Too big a star and talented an actress to play opposite the less experienced Hirsch. Everybody needs a pay day I suppose.

Lost, Matthew Fox

The great casting so far has been in the supporting characters. Speed Racer's parents will be played by John Goodman and Susan Sarandon, and Lost star Matthew Fox will play the mysterious Racer X.

Also on board: John Shaft himself, Richard Roundtree. The legend!

So, the film is starting to take shape, and I think it has the potential to be one of the best tent poles of 2008 (also, I'm so focused on Iron Man). Hopefully Andy and Larry will gear the film to an older audience and not settle for foreign-friendly kid fare. Looking forward to it.

Oh! And to show you how ill I am, the monkey is being played by a real monkey. What up Chim Chim!

  • Posted by Ben Lyons on Fri, May 11, 2007, 3:00 PM
Photo by: Tatsunoko Productions


Rain Fan Aug 26 07, 3:26 AM  Report abuse
1.they didnt mention asian superstar Rain (jung ji-hoon) who will also be starring in the film. its his debut in hollywood. He's gonna play a rookie racer, doesnt sound like the best part for him but hope the film's gonna rock! Rain will bring interest in the film to asians.
Chris May 19 07, 10:16 AM  Report abuse
2.Wow I heard rumors but sounds way cool..I hope it rocks. I barely remeber the show .. how long ago was that now??? I love Christina Ricci so I'm excited but I agree that she might look weird across Emile Hirsch.. but she could make it work.
Ash May 11 07, 4:06 PM  Report abuse
3.Hmm, this movie will flop. They should've picked Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Watching christina ricci with Emilie Hirsh will be strange and I'm sorry he's not a leading man. But going with him I agree they should've picked a different girl. I really hope the Washowski bros do better then that last matrix movie..they've got a lot to prove after that stinker

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Who's Ben Lyons?

  • Born and raised in New York City, the E! movie expert roots for the Knicks, deejays at L.A. clubs and chats up the stars for E! News Live and Daily 10. Ben also cohosts NBC's Reel Talk with his father, Jeffrey Lyons. full bio >