Roundtree is fast friend of 'Speed'


Richard Roundtree has cruised into Warner Bros. Pictures' "Speed Racer," Larry and Andy Wachowski's live-action adaptation of the 1960s cartoon.

"Speed" centers on young race car driver Speed (Emile Hirsch) and his quest for glory in his thundering, gadget-laden Mach 5. Roundtree will play Ben Burns, a racer-turned-commentator who is an icon to the fans and a hero to Speed.

Roundtree joins a cast that includes Matthew Fox, Christina Ricci, Susan Sarandon and John Goodman. Shooting is under way in Berlin.

After wrapping "Speed," Roundtree will join Vivica A. Fox in the national tour of the play "Whatever She Wants."

Roundtree, best known for playing the iconic character Shaft, recurred on NBC's "Heroes" and next season will reprise his role on the ABC Family Channel series "Lincoln Heights." He recently completed the miniseries "Final Approach" as well as the telepic "Point of Entry" for the Hallmark Channel.

Roundtree is repped by Stone/Manners Agency and Patrick McMinn Management.