Apple developing Speed Racer live-action series with JJ Abrams

A live-action series based on the popular manga and animated show Speed Racer is in the works at the Apple. According to The Hollywood Reporter, filmmaker JJ Abrams will serve as an executive producer on the project.

Though the details of the series are scarce at the moment, the show is written by Hiram Martinez and Ron Fitzgerald, who will also serve as co-showrunners. Abrams will executive produce under his Bad Robot banner. Warner Bros. Television is the studio where Bad Robot is under an overall deal.

Speed Racer was first launched in Japan as a manga series titled Mach GoGoGo by Tatsuo Yoshida in 1966. It was later adapted into anime by Tatsunoko Productions, which aired on Japan’s Fuji TV as well as in the US.

The story follows the adventure of auto racer Speed Racer and his souped up car, the Mach 5.

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His team consists of his father and car builder Pops Racer, his little brother Spritle and his pet chimpanzee Chim-Chim, and Speed’s girlfriend Trixie. Speed also frequently crosses paths with the mysterious Racer X, who is secretly Speed’s older brother Rex Racer.

The series would be the second live-action project based on the iconic Japanese character.

Filmmakers Lily and Lana Wachowski had written and directed a 2008 film, featuring Emile Hirsch in the title role. The film was a major box office disappointment and received mostly negative reviews from the critics.

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