In the growing trend to bring back childhood favorites it appears that Warner Brothers is attempting to bring Speedy Gonzales to the big screen.
According to Deadline the project is in-development and tentatively titled Speedy. It will be the work of Rivers Edge Films and 3pas Studios. Writer Hank Nelken has been hired as a script writer and Eugenio Derbez as the voice of the lead character.
The sombrero wearing rodent was first introduced in 1953 in Cat-Tails for Two. Two years later he got a makeover by Friz Freleng and Hawley Pratt and became the lovable character we know.
“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 Pancho 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 Derbez Gonzalez and I have big ears. The casting couldn’t be better.”
Unfortunately this is a character that almost got lost as Cartoon Network gained exclusive rights and shelved him in 1999 because of “ethnic stereotypes.” Apparently the ethnic population that was supposedly offended didn’t agree with them. The League of United Latin American Citizens called Speedy a “cultural icon”, and thousands of users registered their support of the character on the hispaniconline.com message boards resulting in the return of his classic cartoons to Cartoon Network in 2002.
It will be interesting to see if this production carries through, as there was a previous attempt to make a Speedy movie in 2010 with plans for George Lopez to voice him.