A live-action Speed Racer TV series is reportedly in the works at J.J. Abrams’ production company Bad Robot and will arrive on Apple TV Plus. The new adaptation will apparently be a “back to basics” version of the original Japanese manga.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, a Speed Racer TV series is underway at Apple TV Plus and Bad Robot. Potential showrunners include Snowpiercer writer Hiram Martinez and Ron Fitzgerald, who worked with Abrams on Westworld. Martinez and Fitzgerald will apparently be co-writers and co-showrunners on this adaptation.
Speed Racer was first serialised as a manga in Shueisha’s 1966 Shonen Book. A year later, it would receive a 52-episode anime adaptation from Tatsunoko Productions and air on Fuji TV between April 1967 and March 1968. It would later be remastered and re-released in the decades after.
The series’ cultural impact only grew over the decades, leading to the more well-known live-action 2008 film from The Matrix trilogy directors, Lana and Lilly Wachowski.
Deadline added that the new live-action series is now staffing up in the writers’ room, though no official announcement has actually been made yet by Apple or Bad Robot. We’ll likely hear about something before the end of the year.
Speed Racer isn’t the only live-action adaptation of a popular manga and anime currently in the works at Western companies. Netflix is also deep into the production of its upcoming live-action adaptation of Eiichiro Oda’s pirate shonen adventure, One Piece. The streaming service previously adapted Cowboy Bebop into a live-action series too, though that lasted only one season before its premature cancellation.
Hopefully, this new take on Speed Racer will be able to differentiate itself from the aggressive sensory overload of the 2008 Wachowskis film, though admittedly that was still a pretty fun movie.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter