An animated film based on the Looney Tunes character Speedy Gonzales is in the works at Warner Bros. Mexican actor/film maker Eugenio Derbez (The Book of Life) will voice the role of the energetic mouse who first appeared in the 1953, known for his exaggerated Mexican accent, red kerchief, sombrero, and cries of “¡Ándale! ¡Ándale! ¡Arriba! ¡Arriba! ¡Epa! ¡Epa! ¡Epa! Yeehaw!” The film, which is still in development, but will likely be a heist caper called Speedy.
Nerdist has reached out for comment, but had not heard back at the time of publication.
Producer Dylan Sellers told Deadline, “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. In a time when Donald Trump is gaining momentum, the world needs Speedy more than ever.”
“In Mexico we grew up watching Speedy Gonzales,” Derbez told the site. “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 Derbez Gonzalez and I have big ears. The casting couldn’t be better.”
However, Speedy has often been more problematic for the company than for the public. There is even a disclaimer on the Looney Tunes Golden Collection DVD box set:
The cartoons you are about to see are products of their time. They may depict some of the ethnic and racial prejudices that were commonplace in American society. These depictions were false then and are still false today. While the following does not represent the WB view of society, these cartoons are being presented as they were originally created, because to do otherwise would be the same as to claim these prejudices never existed.
Although the character—originally voiced by the legendary Mel Blanc from 1953 – 1989—has been called a racist stereotype in the past, many in the Latino community have largely embraced the character.