Hirsch up to 'Speed' for Wachowskis


Emile Hirsch is in talks to star in "Speed Racer," the live-action version of the anime cartoon being directed by Larry and Andy Wachowski.

Based on the classic 1960s series created by anime pioneer Tatsuo Yoshida that was retooled for North American audiences, "Speed Racer" follows the adventures of young race car driver Speed (Hirsch) in his quest for glory in his thundering gadget-laden vehicle, Mach 5. The movie will feature other characters from the show, including Speed's family and his mysterious arch-rival, Racer X.

The plan is for the Wachowskis to shoot in Germany in the summer for a summer 2008 release.

Hirsch most recently starred in "Alpha Dog" and next appears in Sean Penn's "Into the Wild," which Paramount Vantage is distributing in the fall. Other credits include "Lord of Dogtown" and "The Girl Next Door."

Joel Silver is producing the film, which the Wachowskis are writing as well as directing. "Speed" will be a Warner Bros. Pictures presentation in association with Village Roadshow Pictures of a Silver Pictures production.

Hirsch is repped by UTA, the Collective and attorney Robert Offer.