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Speed Racer Gets New Live-Action Series at Apple by J.J. Abrams

posted on by Alex Mateo
Hiram Martinez, Ron Fitzgerald serve as showrunners, co-writers

Entertainment news websites Variety and The Hollywood Reporter reported on Wednesday that the Speed Racer (Mach Go Go Go) anime is getting a live-action series at Apple by J.J. Abrams (Star Wars, Star Trek).

According to the sources, Hiram Martinez (Snowpiercer, Get Shorty) is serving as showrunner and co-writing the series with Ron Fitzgerald (Westworld). Abrams is serving as executive producer at his company Bad Robot. The websites state that the live-action series is part of Abrams and Bad Robot's deal with Warner Bros. TV, and that it has been in the works for years.

The 1967-68 car-racing anime Mach Go Go Go was licensed by Trans-Lux and released in the United States in 1967 as Speed Racer. The worldwide rights for the Speed Racer property reverted to Tatsunoko Production from American licensing company Speed Racer Enterprises (SRE) in 2011, though Tatsunoko filed lawsuits against SRE to uphold the reversion, and they were not dismissed until 2014.

Tatsunoko announced in 2015 that it was planning a new license program to reintroduce the property and make the episodes available in high definition for the first time. Tatsunoko also announced it was developing a new Speed Racer (Mach Go Go Go) series with a "modern audience" in mind.

Funimation released the original anime series on Blu-ray Disc in November 2017.

In 2008, the Wachowskis (The Matrix, Cloud Atlas, Jupiter Ascending) directed an American live-action film adaptation of Speed Racer.

Lions Gate produced the Speed Racer: The Next Generation remake with the New York studio Animation Collective in 2008. Nickelodeon aired the Speed Racer X series in 2002.

Sources: Variety (Joe Otterson), Hollywood Reporter (Lesley Goldberg) via 9 to 5 Mac

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