Warner Bros. Consumer Products (WBCP) has named Mattel Inc. the global master toy licensee for the upcoming live-action feature films Speed Racer and The Dark Knight. The product lines will include vehicles, action figures, remote control vehicles, handheld electronics and games and puzzles based on the vfx-heavy pics, which will be released by Warner Bros. Pictures in the summer of 2008.
Cruising into theaters on May 9, 2008, Speed Racer stars Emile Hirsch as the iconic, young racecar driver behind the wheel of the Mach 5 in the classic anime series created by Tatsuo Yoshida. The film is written and directed by Larry and Andy Wachowski, and produced by their Matrix collaborator, Joel Silver. Susan Sarandon and John Goodman will play Mom and Pops Racer, while Christina Ricci takes on the role of girlfriend Trixie and Matthew Fox jumps in the driver’s seat as mysterious arch-rival Racer X. Speed Racer products are expected to begin arriving at retailers around the world beginning in late March of 2008.
The Dark Knight, the second Batman film from director Christopher Nolan, is set to bow theatrically on July 18, 2008. Christian Bale returns as DC Comics’ caped crusader and Gary Oldman is back as Lieutenant Jim Gordon. Working together, the two set out to dismantle the remaining criminal organizations that plague Gotham City. Aaron Eckhart joins the cast as District Attorney Harvey Dent and Heath Ledger assumes the role of The Joker. The film also introduces a new vehicle dubbed the Batpod and a new, improved Batsuit, which should make for interesting toys. The product line is expected to begin shipping to retailers worldwide beginning in early June of 2008.