Wachowski’s Give Gas to Speed Racer

Larry and Andy Wachowski, the sibling duo behind the Matrix films, are pushing forward with plans to make a live-action feature based on the classic 1960s anime series Speed Racer, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Talk of such a project has been circulating through Tinsel Town for more than a decade but now it appears it may actually happen with the Wachowskis officially attached to write and direct and their long-time collaborator Joel Silver committed to producing.

Having served as producers on V for Vendetta, the Wachowskis will return to the directors chair for the first time since wrapping the Matrix trilogy in 2003. Among the Matrix alumni coming along for the ride are Oscar-winning vfx supervisor John Gaeta and exec producer Grant Hill.

Like Tatsuo Yoshida’s beloved cartoon creation, the live-action Speed Racer will focus on a young man’s efforts to drive his high-tech Mach 5 to victory over the mysterious Racer X. Considering the cartoon has been popular for generations and is still watched by kids, the film adaptation will reportedly be more family-friendly than the Wachowskis’ previous action flicks. Shooting is scheduled to begin in 2007.

If the project stays on track, Warner Bros., in association with Village Roadshow Pictures, will likely release Speed Racer in the summer of 2008.