Failed film series include 'Speed Racer,' 'The Shadow,' 'Jonah Hex' and more
Speed Racer (2008)
Why it got the green light: The Wachowskis ("The Matrix") have always shown an interest in the aesthetics of vintage anime and they seemed to be the right choice to bring the timeless popularity of Speed and co. into the realm of (semi) live action. Up-and-comer Emile Hirsch led the crazy cast.
Why a franchise never materialized: Panned by most critics and virtually ignored by moviegoers, the film's wildly over-the-top, cotton candy visual style and irony-free tone was aimed primarily at kids, and seemed to go against the dark and gritty appearance of most blockbusters of that year (think "The Dark Knight," "Hancock" or even "Wall-E"). However, the film has some defenders and may eventually be remembered as a cult curio, as opposed to the kick-off to a lucrative and long-running franchise. - DL