'Shaft' Star Joins 'Speed Racer'
Richard Roundtree joins Emile Hirsch, Christina Ricci and Matthew Fox
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Roundtree will play racing icon Ben Burns, one of Speed's (Emile Hirsch) heroes and a current racing commentator.
"Speed Racer" was created by Tatsuo Yoshida and premiered as an anime series in Japan in 1967. The story centers on a teenaged Speed Racer (Hirsch) who encounters intrigue and danger on his road to racing glory. He is aided by parents Mom (Susan Sarandon) and Pops Racer (John Goodman), girlfriend Trixie (Christina Ricci), little brother Spritle, his monkey Chim Chim and the mechanic Sparky (Kirk Gurry). Lurking in the background is the mysterious Racer X (Matthew Fox).
The Wachowskis have already begun shooting "Speed Racer" in Berlin and Warner Bros. has set a May 2008 release date for the long-awaited project.
Although he'll always be best known as John Shaft, Roundtree attracted a new generation of fans with his recurring role on "Heroes" this season and with guest appearances on "Close to Home," "The Closer" and "Grey's Anatomy."