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Old 06-01-2007, 01:47 AM   #1
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First look: 'Speed Racer's' demon on wheels

First look: 'Speed Racer's' demon on wheels

By Scott Bowles, USA TODAY

Emile Hirsch was 6 years old when he saw his first episode of the cartoon Speed Racer and, more important, caught a glimpse of the Mach 5.
"It was one of the coolest things I'd ever seen," Hirsch says by phone from Germany, where filming will begin next week on the movie adaptation. "That's when I started thinking it would be great to be on TV. And have one of those."

Sixteen years later, he finally got behind the wheel of the speedster, which gets its first look here and will be at the heart of the film, due May 9, 2008.

"My first thought was, 'Yeah, they got the car right,' " he says. "That's one of the best things about the show, so it was always going to be one of the most important parts of the movie."

That and the return of Andy and Larry Wachowski, the brothers who are making their first directorial effort since The Matrix trilogy.

Like Hirsch, the brothers grew up on the popular 1960s Japanese cartoon about the adventures of a racing family — and its pet chimpanzee, Chim Chim.

"The TV show was the brothers' introduction to Japanese animation," says Joel Silver, a friend of the press-shy Wachowskis and producer of Racer and the Matrix films. "They fell in love with the genre. They said they'd been making R-rated movies their whole lives and wanted to do something their nephews and nieces could watch."

The film, Silver says, will have a "retro future" look and will center on Speed (Hirsch) trying to make a name for himself in the racing world despite the efforts of corporate giants to foil his career. The film also stars Christina Ricci as girlfriend Trixie and Matthew Fox as Speed's older brother, Racer X.

Like the Matrix films and the Wachowski-produced V for Vendetta, Racer "has a lot to say about remaining independent and thinking for yourself," Hirsch says. "The brothers weren't just looking to do the TV show on film."

Unlike those darker movies, Racer "is going to be very bright, very family-friendly," Silver says. "And it will have great effects like TheMatrix, just with the car."

A car that will not see much time on pavement. The Mach 5 will be placed on a crane and most effects will be computer-generated.

One real effect, though: Chim Chim.

"They're using a real monkey," Hirsch says. "Just don't call him that. He's a chimpanzee. He gets upset if you call him a monkey."
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Old 06-01-2007, 01:55 AM   #2
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That is one slick looking car, however im guessing the sticker would scare the $H!T out of you.
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Old 06-01-2007, 01:58 AM   #3
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does any one know what drive train it has ?
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Old 06-01-2007, 06:42 AM   #4
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If I ever get stupid rich I WILL own one. It will sit between KITT and the General Lee. And Airwolf will fly me wherever I need to go. My daily will be decided between bumblebee and the Bandit. If I want to go to an out of state car show I will load up my Batmobiles in Optimus Prime's trailer and my friends can follow me in the Fast and Furious cars. My wife, the Ford lover will have Elanor and the Bullit Mustang to get her around. On race nights I'll take out Blade's Charger, or maybe Melba Toast. There's so many! I think I was born with a steering wheel in my hand... When I was a kid, instead of teddy-bears I used to sleep with the General Lee in one hand and either Boss Hogg's Cadillac or Roscoe P. Coltrane's cop car in the other. No joke.
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Old 06-01-2007, 09:23 AM   #5

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I can't wait for the movie to explain how to access the engine since it looks like the front end is all one piece.

since the nose is so long, i dont think you can tilt everything from the front.

It actually looks like that car might be aerodynamic.

The wheels also look semi accurate if there are spinners in the center.
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Old 06-01-2007, 11:01 PM   #6
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I just looked up the cast, brilliant casting if you ask me.

Emile Hirsch (Girl Next Door) as Speed
Christina Ricci as Trixie
John Goodman as 'Pops' Racer
Susan Sarandon as 'Mom' Racer
Matthew Fox (lost and party of five) as Rex Racer AKA Racer X

I am a huge fan of the old cartoon, have all the dvd volumes that were released so far in my collection. I also have a model kit of the Mach 5 and a SWEET 1/18 scale diecast replica of it that has opening hood, doors, and all the gadgets work from the retractable cutting saws, to the jacks that retract from the bottom of the car to lift it or JUMP it .
"May the forces of evil become confused on the way to your house."
George Carlin
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