PREY Star Emile Hirsch Talks SPEED RACER's Surprising Legacy And WOLVERINE Fan Casts (Exclusive)

PREY Star Emile Hirsch Talks SPEED RACER's Surprising Legacy And WOLVERINE Fan Casts (Exclusive)

Talking to us about his standout role in Vertical's Prey, Emile Hirsch (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood) reflects on the legacy of 2008's Speed Racer and whether he's interested in playing Wolverine...

By JoshWilding - Mar 21, 2024 01:03 PM EST
Filed Under: Speed Racer

This week, we sat down with Emile Hirsch to discuss his role in Prey, a new survival thriller which sees him clash with lions and his co-star, Ryan Phillippe. The movie is a blast, but many of you will likely remember Hirsch best for his role in 2008's live-action Speed Racer

Directed by The Wachowskis (The Matrix) and also starring Christina Ricci, John Goodman, Susan Sarandon, and Matthew Fox, the movie received a mixed response at the time but has since found a devoted fanbase. 

During our conversation, we asked Hirsch what it's been like to see the tide change. "I’m so pleasantly surprised," he admitted. "When it initially came out, it didn’t really do very well. It didn’t even get good reviews. It was panned and you could almost say ridiculed. To have the public perception and affection for the movie grow so much over the years is cool."

"At the time, that did not seem like it would ever happen based on the initial release of the movie. I was like, ‘Oh man, they’re never going to come around to this thing even though we all loved making the movie.’ Myself, the actors, and the Wachowskis loved [it]. It’s kind of crazy that it’s come around as much as it has to the point where it’s almost hard to believe."

"In certain forums, it’s really, really well regarded now as the ultimate manga adaptation. It’s cool," Hirsch continued. "The esteem the film is held in now has exceeded my wildest dreams in a way."

"The idea that we would make a movie as many years ago as we made it and it would still be talked about to this day...I definitely did not imagine that happening, especially when you think about how many of those big budget tentpole movies come out every year."

Despite taking centre stage in Speed Racer, the actor never followed that up with a major Marvel or DC role. His name has frequently come up in Wolverine fan casts, though, and while the actor would be open to that, it sounds like Speed scratched that particular acting itch. 

"I always looked at Speed Racer like it was a superhero," Hirsch says. "I watched the cartoon so much as a kid, I just viewed it like that. I had a lot of fun playing Speed and that movie has aged really, really well. It really does hold up." 

"I don’t know, I mean, Wolverine? That’s definitely...I used to watch X-Men: The Animated Series as a kid and that was amazing. I loved watching that show. I don’t know. It would be awesome, though, sure."

Check back here tomorrow for our full interview with the Speed Racer star about his role in Prey

After an extremist militant group threatens their lives, a young couple (Ryan Phillippe and Mena Suvari) is forced to flee their Christian missionary post in the Kalahari Desert. After being granted passage aboard a rickety plane, piloted by a corrupt smuggler (Emile Hirsch), their escape to safety is nearly in reach. But when their aircraft loses power and crash lands, they discover a bigger threat awaits them as they find themselves stranded in the middle of an animal preserve populated by maneaters -- lions, leopards, and hyenas. Injured, frightened, and being tracked by the extremists, this ragtag group of passengers must fight for survival from both man and beast where only the strong will survive.

Prey is now playing in theaters and available on demand.

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J0HNS0N - 3/21/2024, 1:32 PM
It has aged well. Phenomenal example of a good anime to live action
UniqNo - 3/21/2024, 1:45 PM
@J0HNS0N - i agree. Some of the visuals are a bit dated, but the mechanics and movement of the car is still amazing.
ModHaterSLADE - 3/21/2024, 1:33 PM
He's a good actor with some great range, especially good in Alpha Dogs and Into The Wild. I think he'd do Wolverine justice.
Evansly - 3/21/2024, 6:52 PM
@ModHaterSLADE - Alpha Dogs is such an incredible movie
ModHaterSLADE - 3/21/2024, 7:53 PM
@Evansly - Yeah, Anton Yelchin was great in it as well.
IAmAHoot - 3/21/2024, 1:38 PM
That final race always gets to me. Love that movie.
TheVisionary25 - 3/21/2024, 1:59 PM
@IAmAHoot - “listen to her ,Speed”…


I got chills watching that ngl
dragon316 - 3/21/2024, 3:32 PM
@IAmAHoot - like movie as we’ll doubt fans of original will like it saw anime kinda fan of it
Deadinside - 3/21/2024, 3:43 PM
@dragon316 - I have a "Best of Speed Racer" DVD...!☮️😁
tylerzero - 3/21/2024, 4:55 PM
@dragon316 -

I like it too.
AmazingFILMporg - 3/21/2024, 1:40 PM
Was he blacklisted from Hollywood?

What happened to him?
soberchimera - 3/21/2024, 1:43 PM
@AmazingFILMporg - He assaulted and strangled a woman which basically killed any chance of him ever being a leading man again.
AmazingFILMporg - 3/21/2024, 1:50 PM
@soberchimera -


Goddamn 😶
Izaizaiza - 3/21/2024, 2:12 PM
@soberchimera - Yeah. Never mix powerful stimulants with booze.
HulkisHoly - 3/21/2024, 3:34 PM
@soberchimera -

Didn’t stop Ezra Miller.
Well, at least not initially.
UniqNo - 3/21/2024, 1:46 PM
Outside of the matrix movies Speed Racer was definitley the Wachowskis best. I'm still shocked it doesn't get the love it deserves.
TheVisionary25 - 3/21/2024, 1:46 PM
I haven’t seen Speed Racer in awhile but I remember it being a fun watch…

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I don’t see him as Wolverine though , too much of a baby face imo…

Idk why people would think that other then he’s short I guess?.
TheNewYorker - 3/21/2024, 1:57 PM
Speed racers legacy? That’s funny.
harryba11zack - 3/21/2024, 2:07 PM
Prey was a good movie
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HammerLegFoot - 3/21/2024, 2:11 PM
@harryba11zack - Still havent watched it yet, heard it was pretty good
tylerzero - 3/21/2024, 4:56 PM
@HammerLegFoot -

It is.
McMurdo - 3/21/2024, 2:19 PM
Feralwookiee - 3/21/2024, 3:09 PM
@McMurdo - I'm looking forward to a torrid love affair between HERBIE and Roberta.

Speed Racer was a dreadful movie that was visual vomit. The Wackowskis are hacks.
99OPTIMISTPRIME - 3/21/2024, 2:46 PM
The Speed Racer movie was ahead of its time. People were slow in appreciating the aesthetic of it. Speed Racer walked, so Barbie could run.🤣
slickrickdesigns - 3/21/2024, 2:51 PM
Here’s my top 5 reasons why this movie was good…
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Now don’t comment because I don’t want your opinion on my opinion.
HammerLegFoot - 3/21/2024, 2:59 PM
@slickrickdesigns - No, no I don't like your opinion
phoenixvici - 3/21/2024, 3:09 PM
I loved this movie upon release and still do. Good to know others are showing it some love. I wish they'd go ahead and release it on 4K already.
HulkisHoly - 3/21/2024, 3:36 PM
Scott Pilgrim is the best live action Manga adaptation.
Rosraf - 3/21/2024, 7:30 PM
I always thought Emile Hirsch would have been a better option for Indy's son in Kingdom of the Crystal Skulls.
campblood - 3/21/2024, 7:37 PM
I always liked speed racer. I watched the cartoon as a kid and I thought the movie was fun
RockerTodd - 3/22/2024, 5:50 AM
"Many of you will likely remember Hirsch best for his role in 2008's live-action Speed Racer."

Never saw it due to horrible reviews. May have to give it a look, with all the praise above.
However, I remember Hirsch best for his role in The Girl Next Door (2004 film) wooing Elisha Cuthbert.

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