Speed Racer: Apple TV+, Bad Robot Developing Live-Action Series

So how's this for timing? Less than an hour after we shared a THR report from sources claiming that Warner Bros. Discovery was looking for some updates on where a number of projects stand with regards to its deal with J.J. Abrams and Bad Robot (Lisey's Story, Little Voice), it sounds like life is fairing much better over at Apple TV+. Deadline Hollywood is reporting that the streaming service is looking to develop a live-action series take on Speed Racer, from Abrams' Bad Robot & Warner Bros. Television. While few details were available, the project is reportedly leaning hard on the original source material, with Hiram Martinez (Snowpiercer) and Ron Fitzgerald (Westworld) writing, executive-producing, and serving as co-showrunners (with staffing on the writers' room currently underway). First launched as a manga series in 1966 (Mach GoGoGo by Tatsuo Yoshida), Speed Racer was adapted into anime by Tatsunoko Productions and aired on Japan's Fuji TV from 1967 to 1968 (and in syndication in the U.S. around that same time). In the early 1990s, the series would see a rebirth in the U.S. that would result in the franchise spinning off into comic books, additional animated series, video releases, clothing, merchandise, a live-action film, and more.

speed racer
Image: Warner Bros. Discovery

As the WBD and Disney continue to "not compete" compete to have their respective Marvel and DC Comics IPs branded as far and wide as possible on streaming, there was a ton of hope placed on Abrams & Katie McGrath's Bad Robot when it was announced that they were developing an HBO Max series based on Justice League Dark (like a "Justice League" that defends against magical and supernatural threats) as well as spinoff series for the two characters mentioned above. But as we reach the midpoint of 2022, still nothing on streaming screens- which is reportedly a source of "some frustration within the halls of Warner Bros. Discovery" that Abrams has "laid claim to a number of DC characters" but hasn't produced (though sources say that Warners has seen scripts for Constantine and the pilot of Madame X). And let's not forget the Batman adult-animated series that Abrams and Matt Reeves (The Batman) are reteaming on, also still in development.

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About Ray Flook

Serving as Television Editor since 2018, Ray began five years earlier as a contributing writer/photographer before being brought onto the core BC team in 2017.
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