I came across an item on Metafilter today lamenting the live action Speed Racer movie that's being made. Two major points to make here. First off, for all their bashing of Joel Silver, he does come through with gems now and again. The Wachowski brothers' The Matrix is the star example, and they are also the ones directing Speed. So there's hope yet.
Second of all, as for the "Hollywood screws with yet another happy childhood memory" complaint, I wouldn't get up on my high horse just yet. I had happy memories of watching Speed Racer when I was a kid, too. Then I watched a couple of episodes after I'd grown up. Damn that show sucked. Remakes are A-OK by me if the source material wasn't very good to begin with. You can only go up from there.
But I digress. I ended up going to the IMDb entry for the film and finding out more about the guy who's going to play Speed, a kid by the name of Emile Hirsch. Seems the other big project he's involved with is the adaptation of the nonfiction book "Into the Wild". Now this I can get excited about.
In the book, author John Krakauer attempts to piece together the life of one Christopher McCandless, a bright kid with a great future who decided to live a drifter's existence. He ended up dying alone in the Alaska wilderness at the tender age of twenty-four. We know the ending from the start, but it's still a riveting book. We get to also see some of the author's own life during his quest as he draws some parallels between Macandless' life and his own. It's a fantastic read.
Looking at the cast list, I don't see that there's anyone playing the author, which is a pity. The framing device used in the book as Krakauer researches this kid would have transferred perfectly onto film with little effort. But no matter. The story still has the potential to kick some serious ass as a feature film. At the very least, it's subject matter is a hell of a lot more weighty than the possible "ruining" of a whisper-thin Japanese cartoon.