There are few movies I will ever pause. When I do, it’s usually for a very good reason — either someone’s knocked on my door unexpectedly, or I’m bleeding too much to ignore until the credits roll. There are even fewer movies I would ever walk out of, particularly in the theater. In fact, I can think of only one: Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise Of Skywalker.
Yet the writer and director behind that cinematic catastrophe continues to find work in the industry. A man who can start a series, raise any number of interesting questions, then jump ship before any of those answers need to come out. A man whose vision for the future of cinema is “What if Spielberg and Lucas, but worse?”
J.J. Abrams is taking the reins to the Speed Racer franchise. God help us.
Variety reports that a live-action Speed Racer series is in the works over at Apple, for AppleTV+. That sentence alone poses no problems — Apple created one of the triumphs of modern streaming television, Mythic Quest, and seems to know when to get out of the way at let talented creators work. The problem comes later, with the involvement of one Jabrams Jabrams Abrams.
Abrams will be executive producing the new series, with Westworld and Perry Mason’s Ron Fitzgerald and Snowpiercer’s Hiram Martinez writing, producing, and co-showrunning. The series will be the second live-action take on the classic ‘60s anime, after the Wachowskis’ perfect, unassailable 2008 film.
For now, not much else is known about the series. Will it feature the absolute banger of a cast that the 2008 film did, with John Goodman and Susan Sarandon perfect in their roles as Speed’s parents? Will Emile Hirsch be there? Only time will tell.