Apple TV+ is revving up its engines for a new live-action televised take on Tatsuo Yoshida’s 1960s manga IP, Speed Racer. Multiple trade sources are discussing the series and there’s word that J.J. Abrams will exec produce the series via his Bad Robot banner, with Hiram Martinez (Snowpiercer, Get Shorty) co-writing and serving as showrunner.
Plot details on the show are unknown. However, THR notes the show had been in the works for years under Abrams label in a deal with Warner’s TV division, and that the rights holders at Tatsunoko are “believed to have blessed” the new series version Apple is working on.
The show will mark the latest move to live action since the Wachowskis’ adapted it for the big screen in 2008 at Warner Bros. with actor Emile Hirsch starring in the title role. The film ultimately bombed at the box office but still stands with cult acclaim as one of the most visually stunning adaptations to this day with impressive racing and action sequences, some of which included co-star, Rain, and served as a precursor for his own lead action role with 2009’s Ninja Assassin, also at Warner Bros..
John Goodman, Susan Sarandon and Christina Ricci also starred in the pic and yeah, it’s a guilty pleasure for sure. I hope though Apple will be able to take advantage of this opportunity in every way possible to make this one of its best shows, especially considering the scruitiny Western production wheelhouses face with adapting Asian IPs; The jury is out for Netflix’s One Piece, but while Cowboy Bebop wasn’t perfect, I was still hooked on what it was trying to achieve. Perhaps Apple might have picked up on a few things?