Speed Racer Going With Emile Hirsch?

... He's a demon on wheels ...

The Wachowski Bros. are back and this time they're bringing ... Emile Hirsch? Yes, the brothers (even if one of them is a woman now) who brought The Matrix to the big screen are revving up a live-action version of Speed Racer next. It appears Emile Hirsch (The Girl Next Door, Alpha Dog) is in talks for the lead. Quite a step down from the oft-rumored Johnny Depp or Keanu, but I guess they wanted a real twentysomething, as opposed to someone who just looks like a twentysomething.

The good news is Hirsch is actually a solid young actor and the Wachowskis know how to cast their movies. I wouldn't trade the cast of Bound (with Jennifer Tilly as sexpot Violet, Gina Gershon as the tomboyish lesbian, Corky and Joe Pantoliano as the slightly dumb, lightweight mob boss, Caesar) for any other. Meanwhile, can you imagine someone other than Hugo Weaving voicing V in the adaptation of V For Vendetta? And where, I wonder, would The Matrix be without "Woa ... "?

Now I admit Hirsch is not the first guy I would have thought of for the role of Speed Racer, but maybe that will change when the film is released in the summer of 2008. Speed Racer is an interesting commodity because the '60s television series has remained fairly popular and it's one of the earliest examples of Japanese anime seeping into American culture. It even popped up on MTV in the '90s. It has a lot of die-hard fans, and people will be ticked if Hirsch disappoints but my money is on the Wachowskis.

The Joel Silver production shoots in Germany soon, so expect plenty of autobahn shots. In the meantime, just try and get this out of your head.

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Dre writes five times a week for Film.com, covering movies and DVD with his Floridian flare. E-mail him!