The live-action feature Speed Racer will start its engines to open on May 9, 2008, two weeks earlier than previously slated. In addition to opening wide domestically, the actioner will be released day-and-date in a majority of the international markets. The announcement was made by Dan Fellman, President of Domestic Distribution, and Veronika Kwan-Rubinek, President of International Distribution, Warner Bros. Pictures.

In making the announcement, Fellman stated, "We have been excited about Speed Racer since we first announced the project. We see it as a movie with broad-based, worldwide appeal--from adults to teens to families--making it the perfect film to lead off our exciting 2008 Summer slate. We want to give Speed Racer the maximum playability throughout the season, so moving it up to the earliest possible date made the most sense."

Kwan-Rubinek added, "Opening Speed Racer day-and-date with the U.S. in most international markets will not only allow audiences to see the film early but will maximize business before the start of the European Soccer Championships."

Speed Racer is being written and directed by Larry and Andy Wachowski, marking the brothers' first writing/directing collaboration since their groundbreaking "Matrix" movies. The film is being produced by Joel Silver under his Silver Pictures banner.

Based on the classic series created by anime pioneer Tatsuo Yoshida, the big-screen Speed Racer will follow the adventures of the young race car driver Speed in his quest for glory in his thundering Mach 5.

Variety notes the move is designed to give the film maximum playability throughout the rest of the season. Larry and Andy Wachowski are writing and directing the live action version of the 1960's TV cartoon series.

Universal is scheduled to open Iron Man the first weekend in May 2008 and Disney has set its second Narnia flick for May 16.