As the beloved ’60s cartoon Speed Racer makes its way to the big screen with Warner Bros.’ live-action treatment, Lionsgate has announced plans for a new animated series based on Tatsuo Yoshida’s anime classic. The show, Lionsgate’s first animated series, will air next year on the Nicktoons network, according to Daily Variety.
The new series will focus on the next generation as a new racing academy cadet learns that he is the son of the original Speed Racer from the 1967 show. He will also discover that he has a brother, the new Racer X. Speed’s monkey pal, Chim-Chim, will reportedly return as a robot, while the driver’s younger brother, Spritle, shows up as head of the racing academy and is voiced by Peter Fernandez, who dubbed in Speed Racer’s voice for the English-language version of earlier series.
This is the third attempt to resurrect the franchise in animation, previous efforts being the short-lived The New Adventures of Speed Racer (1993) and Speed Racer X (2002). Lionsgate is producing 26 episodes and will launch the series in time to benefit from publicity surrounding the live-action movie, which is written and directed by Matrix creators Larry and Andy Wachowski. The film is slated to hit theaters on May 9, 2008.