Christina Ricci has joined the cast of the 2008 Wachowski brothers adaptation of "Speed Racer," in which she’ll play Trixie, girlfriend to the titular auto-racing hero.
Ricci will play opposite Emile Hirsch in the lead role, with Susan Sarandon and John Goodman on board as Speed’s parents. Story points so far have been vague, but we know it’ll involve Speed Racer, his turbo-charged vehicle the Mach 5, and his nemesis, Racer X.
At the helm are Larry and Andy Wachowski ("The Matrix") in their first attempt at family fare. Producer Joel Silver is also guiding the film, which is based on the Japanese anime series popular in the 1960s.
Warner Bros. has taken an interesting angle on the casting announcement, pointing to a few YouTube videos online of the happy castmembers discussing their roles (and their enthusiasm for the project, naturally). In hers, Ricci conveys her excitement at the Wachowski take on "Speed Racer" and describes her character, Trixie:
"I love the Wachowskis, and have loved their movies, and to get to be in one of their movies is so exciting…from the graphics I’ve seen and everything it seems they’re going to make such an iconic world and so to be a part of that world is just really thrilling.
[On Trixie] She’s there because she loves him, and she loves what they’re doing and she loves cars and she’s really into it and down for whatever, whatever kind of adventure needs to happen or whatever needs to happen to protect them.
I like her because she’s sort of tomboyish, but then really cute, but then super capable at the same time.
They really managed to work in sort of modern tension and excitement and bring in a lot of elements, the real elements that a lot of people love about Speed Racer."
Click here to watch the clip.
Likewise, "Speed" himself (Hirsch, that is) made a similar video last month, shortly after finding out he got the part — unquestionably his biggest and most iconic character to date. In it, the self-proclaimed "super excited" actor also gushes over the new "Speed" world the Wachowskis are crafting, saying "it’s like futuristic, like ‘Blade Runner‘ meets Andy Warhol, kind of pop art." Click here to watch his video.
In any case, "Speed Racer" has yet to cast its villain, Racer X (at one point in the project’s revolving door development process Vince Vaughn was given the role). According to Variety, production will begin this June in Berlin for a summer 2008 debut.