Live-action Speed Racer


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It looks like the Wachowski brothers ("The Matrix" trilogy) are filming their Speed Racer adaptation with all green screen sets. Empire Online talked to star Emile Hirsch, who broke the news:

"Nope, it's all green screen," Hirsch told us. "There were no sets, just us and the green background. I haven't seen anything of it finished yet, there was a lot of trust [in the Wachowskis] involved. It's going to be crazy. Was the monkey real? Yes."

The Warner Bros. release, hitting theaters on May 9, also stars Christina Ricci, Matthew Fox, Susan Sarandon, John Goodman, Kick Gurry, Paulie Litt, Roger Allam, Ji Hoon Jung, Melvil Poupaud, Richard Roundtree and Christian Oliver.

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"Speed Racer" seems stuck in the slow lane.

The Wachowski siblings-directed film opens Friday in about 3,600 theaters, and it has been considered one of Warner Bros.' tentpole releases of the summer boxoffice season. But the PG-rated "Speed Racer" -- a big-screen adaptation of the Japanese cartoon of the '60s and '70s -- has been tracking unimpressively in prerelease surveys.

Boxoffice derbies aside, Warners execs suggest there's no need for "Speed Racer" to open huge.

Most of its splashy effects were done with relatively affordable green-screen technology. So the $100 million production will pencil into profitability roughly when its domestic gross hits a similar nine-digit sum, and even a $25 million bow could put it on track to deliver that.

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