One of Warner Bros most loved characters, Speedy Gonzales, may be racing his way to the big screen very soon!
The iconic Saturday Morning rodent will be getting the animated feature treatment at Warner Bros. where the studio is attempting to put Speedy’s behaviour into the context of modern America, most notably presidential candidate Donald Trump’s desire to build a wall between the US and Mexico. “We see this as an origin story of the great master, like a Robin Hood character, who ultimately ends up taking from the rich and giving to the poor,” producer Dylan Sellers told Deadline “In a time when Donald Trump is gaining momentum, the world needs Speedy more than ever.”
Current events are particularly relevant to Gonzales whose first starring role saw him crossing the United States border to steal cheese from a “gringo” cat, which he then redistributed to his mice friends back in Mexico.
It is not, however, the first time Warner Bros. has attempted to revive Speedy as a leading character, having announced six years ago that a live-action/CG Speedy film starring George Lopez was in production. The film intended to give a different take on the character by emphasizing his speed in the style of the ‘Turbo’ franchise.
The new film will be scripted by Hank Nelken (Are We Done Yet?, Saving Silverman) and has been described as a “heist caper” and action-packed comedy. Eugenio Derbez, a popular actor in Mexico who has voiced many characters such as Donkey in DreamWorks’ ‘Shrek’, will star in the film, as well as being signed on to co-produce along with Dylan Sellers and Ben Odell.
“In Mexico we grew up watching Speedy Gonzales,” Derbez told Deadline. “He was like a superhero to us, or maybe more like a revolutionario like Simon Bolivar or Pacho Villa. He watched out for the little people but with a lot of bravado and a weakness for the ladies. I’m really excited to be bringing this character to the big screen. And besides being Mexican— my full name is Eugenio DerbezGonzalez and I have big ears. The casting couldn’t be better.”
Gonzales was a part of the Looney Toons roster, getting his first animated short in 1955 from Friz Freleng and Hawley Pratt which went on to win the Academy Award for best short subject. The racing rodent is frequently seen at odds with Sylvester the Cat, and is often pictured with an oversized sombrero and has a signature cry of "¡Ándale! ¡Ándale! ¡Arriba! ¡Arriba!"