AppleTV+ has certainly been busy when it comes to talent and property acquisitions. The media company’s most recent acquisition is that of giving the green light to a brand-new Speed Racer live-action series. There hasn’t been anything live-action in the Speed Racer realm since the 2008 film graces film screens. One of the biggest aspects to get excited about is that first reported by Deadline, this new series is going to be returning to the original source material which made this anime a cultural phenomenon. That is certainly good news for fans who haven’t been gifted a traditional story regarding this hugely important anime.
The new Speed Racer series has some high-level talent behind it. A writer’s room is currently being put together for the series, but Hiram Martinez and Ron Fitzgerald are currently the leads on the new show. Martinez famously worked on Snowpiercer, and Fitzgerald worked on Westworld. Those are both some high-quality shows that have led the pair to get writing duties for this new anime adaptation. The duo will also serve as executive producers and showrunners for the new series as well.
Although Speed Racer has been rebooted several times, it has never quite hit the same mainstream success as it had when the anime rose to prominence. A show called The New Adventures of Speed Racer was created in the early 1990s that only survived through one 13-episode season. The next attempt to revive the anime was Speed Racer: New Generation, which failed on Nicktoons, MTV, Cartoon Network, and Boomerang. Then there is the Wachowskis-led 2008 film, which was previously mentioned. Although the film had lofty ambitions, it was mostly critically panned. The film did have a 60% audience approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, which isn’t terrible. However, this new series is not set to copy any of its predecessors. The source material of the original 1960s anime is what the new creators are aiming to adapt.
Speed Racer is being put together by Warner Bros. Television and Bad Robot, which is the production company owned by J.J. Abrams. Abrams has been known to put together some great pop culture revivals of sorts. He directed Star Wars and Star Trek, and now his company will be handling bringing back Speed Racer. We won’t bash the man for his take on Star Wars, we are just saying he is involved in some way. The series is being described as high-profile, so the casting might be something big when the show gets to that point. Warner Bros. and Bad Robot being involved bode well for this new live-action venture.
Speed Racer will premiere on AppleTV+, though there are no further details about when that will happen. The writer’s room is being put together, so once that is complete, we are likely to hear about casting announcements. With the current talent that AppleTV has been landing, it stands to reason there will be some big names attached to this new series. Look out for more announcements for this new adaptation in the coming months.