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Warners hooked on ‘Speed’

Hype Williams set to helm pic

Warner Bros. Pictures will pay high-six figures against $1.2 million for Christian Gudegast and Paul Scheuring to write a new script for “Speed Racer,” a feature adaptation of the classic animated series that has spent more than a decade in development at the studio.

Hype Williams is attached to direct the picture, which would be produced by Joel Silver and the Donners Co. (Daily Variety, Sept. 19, 2000).

The 52-episode Japanese anime series, which began its English-language syndication life in 1967, is the story of the dashing Speed Racer, whose Mach 5 could jump, go underwater or clear a path of trees. When not winning races, Speed and girlfriend Trixie, kid brother Spritle and pet monkey Chim-Chim did battle with various bad guys.

In addition to a host of scribes — among them Mark Levin and Jennifer Flackett (“Madeline”) Jeffrey Abrams (“Joy Ride’) and Patrick Read Johnson (“Dragonheart”) — directors who have been attached to the project over the years include Julien Temple, Gus Van Sant and Alfonso Cuaron.

Warners production execs on the project are Courtenay Valenti and Gil Williams.

Gudegast and Scheuring, who are repped by Endeavor and penned New Line Cinema’s upcoming “El Diablo,” recently sold Warners the spec “Black Flag,” with Simon West attached to direct. (Daily Variety, Sept. 21).

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