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Reigniting The Mach 5
Creators of "The Matrix” trilogy, writers/directors/producers Larry and Andy Wachowski have helped redefine the action film genre with their unique brand of filmmaking, which blends multi-layered storytelling with groundbreaking visual effects. Bringing the classic cartoon series "Speed Racer” to the big screen was an opportunity for the Wachowskis to re-envision an enduring classic and, at the same time, reach a broader family audience.

"With ‘The Matrix,' Larry and Andy created a visual style that altered your consciousness as you watched the movie. You saw things that you could not imagine happening on film,” says producer Joel Silver. "And with ‘Speed Racer,' they wanted to change the way you see movies again. They had a new concept in mind for telling the story with cars flying along the most spectacular and challenging racetracks—fantastic action sequences like nothing you've ever seen. It's a new approach to combining CGI with live action. The brothers love to break the mold; they love to push the envelope.”

Producer Grant Hill offers, "Besides being one of their favorite cartoons growing up, one of the things that interested the Wachowskis most in adapting ‘Speed Racer' was the strong family dynamic in the original series. Larry and Andy had a strong desire to make a family film; they wanted to create a movie their nieces and nephews could see.”

"They wrote a pure family movie, maintaining the essence of the original centered on Speed and his family in a completely new adventure,” adds Silver. "‘Speed Racer' is for everybody. It's got great characters, great action beats and, of course, great visuals.”

The film centers on Speed Racer's journey to become the best racecar driver in the World Racing League (WRL). To Speed, the two most important aspects of his life are car racing and his family. The story positions Speed and his family as one of the last independent racing teams facing an increasingly uphill battle against fierce competition from racers backed by mega-sponsors. The stakes are so high that the outcome of a major race could determine the fate of a driver or an entire organization.

In creating the racing action, the Wachowskis tapped into their wildest imaginations to conceive a style of auto racing beyond anything we know. Racecars in "Speed Racer” are a perfect synergy of form and function, capable of performing gravity defying stunts on incredible courses at over 400 mph. Highly customized works of automotive art, each racecar is wilder than the next and is designed to reflect the persona of its driver.

The vibrant, candy-colored world of "Speed Racer” is one in which many eras and styles co-exist, all intersecting in the dominant sport of racing. "You're seeing what's past, present and future in the aesthetic of this film,” says Joel Silver. "The society is car crazy, and Larry and Andy have been able to come up with designs for cars that you have never seen before. We've seen fancy concept cars in magazines and movies, but this film takes that to a totally new level. These cars can do anything, making the races thrilling beyond anything you've ever seen.”

Grant Hill offers, "Larry and Andy are always looking for ways to take things to the next level. We looked at some extreme sports like skateboarding and snowboarding, which have a very fluid motion, and imagined how racecourses would need to look and how fast cars would need to go in order for drivers to perform similar aerial maneuvers.”

Of course, no WRL race in "Speed Racer” would be complete without gladiator style battle tactics skirting the edge of what's legal, involving spear hooks, tire shanks and saw blades. Silver offers, "This vision of an extreme, full-contact motor sport, best described as an acrobatic blend of martial arts and Formula 1, was dubbed by Larry and Andy as

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