Well, after a ton of hype, the Wachowski Brothers’ live action version of Speed Racer has turned out to be a really, incredibly expensive mistake. Just ask Perez.
Although I’m certainly not above gloating about a major Hollywood flop for no other reason than the sheer pleasure of it, there’s actually a bit of history to this one, since PETA contacted the Wachowski Brothers in July of last year about reports that a chimpanzee used on the set of Speed Racer had bitten one of the actors. The issue here is that, almost invariably, great apes used in film are beaten and abused to make them perform (hence, the occasional biting), then cast aside at filthy roadside zoos (or worse) once they’ve outlived their usefulness–no older than age 8! Angelica Huston recently filmed a great PSA for us on this issue, which you can watch here.
I’m willing to concede the remote possibility that there were some other factors that contributed to Speed Racer’s downfall in addition to the bad publicity they got from PETA (like, it could just be a lousy movie), so let’s just call this karma, and we’ll hope the movie’s producers can find a formula in future that doesn’t involve either a) abusing monkeys, or b) making sucky movies. Good luck next time, guys.