With Twentieth Century Fox’s DodgeBall taking out the competition at the box office, star Vince Vaughn has leveraged his bankability to get his live-action version of the anime series Speed Racer on track at Warner Bros. according to Daily Variety. Vaughn pitched the idea for a film in which he would play the part of Racer X, Speed Racer’s long-lost brother. Joel Silver and Richard and Lauren Shuler Donner (X-Men, X2: X-Men United) are producing.
Vaughn tells Variety that he has always been a big fan of the animated series and was intrigued by the idea of a protective older brother who can’t reveal his identity. The actor will serve as exec producer, along with David Lane Seltzer.
The concept of a live-action Speed Racer feature has been idling in Hollywood for a decade, with such directors as Gus Van Sant (My Private Idaho, Drugstore Cowboys), Hype Williams (Belly, Rock da Boat) and Alfonso Cuaron (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Y Tu Mama Tambien) attached at various points. Actor Johnny Depp was even signed to star in a version before it got shelved due to budget concerns.
Up next for Vaughn is a villainous role in MGM’s Get Shorty sequel, Be Cool. After that, he will re-team with Starsky & Hutch co-star Owen Wilson for the New Line comedy Wedding Crashers.