I was going through the filmography of the Wachowskis. Their main theme often tends to be science fiction although they deviated a little when they decided to adapt Alan Moore's V for Vendetta to the big screen but Speed Racer is completely different from anything they've done until that point.

I was a big fan of the Speed Racer cartoon growing up as a kid but this adaptation of Speed Racer puzzled me. Why choose Speed Racer? Is there something about this specific anime which inspired them?

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    Well, Bound isn't scifi either, as well as Cloud Atlas to a large degree, and apart from those and The Matrix they haven't made so much else at all. But still I know what you mean, Speed Racer is odd. – Napoleon Wilson Feb 13 '15 at 15:52
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    Because Speed Racer is awesome? – System Down Feb 13 '15 at 19:16
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    I also wonder if it wasn't an extension of Bullet Time. One of the earliest known uses of Bullet Time was in the original animated Speed Racer series. While the production technique was completely different, the effect was the same. Speed Racer would do a jump and they would hang him out there in the breeze as the shot would pan around. While maybe not a true connection, it is a connection, nonetheless. – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Feb 13 '15 at 19:49
  • @SystemDown And so is Dragonball-Z and Dragonball. – Dredd Feb 13 '15 at 23:13
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    @Paulster2 - Hmmm, Interesting! It's been a while since I saw the Wachowskis version, but did they work that iconic scene in their movie? – System Down Feb 14 '15 at 0:02

It's tough to know for sure. The Wachowskis are notoriously difficult to both interview and, even when they do interview, get straight answers from.

Joel Silver was the producer of the film and, among many other things, acted as their mouthpiece for most of the interviews involving the film. In a discussion with Indie London the following exchange took place:

Questioner. What was the appeal of Speed Racer?

Joel Silver: The idea was to make something really exciting and fun for the whole family. The Wachowski brothers wanted to make a big family movie and I think they did it. They wanted a movie that everyone can enjoy – you wouldn’t just take your kids to it and drop them off and pick them up. It was always the intention to create a great experience you can have together.

As for why the Wachowski's don't talk to the press:

Questioner: Why aren’t the Wachowski brothers doing any press for this?

Joel Silver: The Matrix was the first movie we did together and they did everything – junkets, tours and everything. But they didn’t like it. They didn’t like explaining the movie and telling what they were thinking; they wanted the movie to take the lead with their art and their creation. They didn’t want to have to present what they did. So, they said to me: “Listen, if you really want us to make these movies with you, we don’t want to have to do this anymore. So, it’s very simple – if you do that for us, then we’ll continue to make movies with you. If you don’t, we won’t.” But we love them and they are around. They’ll be at the premiere. But they just don’t like to talk about it and we’re happy to support them in that. If you’re hinting at the mystique surrounding them, they don’t cultivate that, they just want to let the movie speak for itself.

I don't know if that's the answer you were hoping for, but it really does seem like they just wanted to do something big, fun, family-related and different.

  • Rather not a very loquacious lot. They do give interviews, but particularly around the time of Lana's gender change they stayed away – Andrew Martin Feb 13 '15 at 16:04
  • I was trying to be sarcastic, sarcasm fail. :( – Dredd Feb 13 '15 at 16:06
  • My bad, should have picked up on that. It's funny, if you watch the interviews they do give, they certainly can talk. – Andrew Martin Feb 13 '15 at 16:07

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