years of speculation about what their next “official” project would be (they didn’t direct all of V for Vendetta*, but their fingerprints are all over it), the Wachowski Siblings have announced that they’ll be writing and directing a live action Speed Racer movie.

It’s sort of mind-boggling. Whether you like the last two Matrix films or not (I’m a pretty big fan of the second one, which I think was betrayed by the last picture), the Wachowskis are a fairly talented duo, and they’re going to spend lots of time and lots of money on a movie about an old Japanese cartoon with race cars, a guy dressed like Cyclops from old X-Men comics and a fucking comedic monkey?

The Siblings will be reuniting with some of the behind the camera folks from The Matrix movies, including Joel Silver, producer Grant Hill and FX man and Oscar winner John Gaeta, recently cleared of all charges of cooperating with the Cylon occupation.

Silver, being his usual blustery, bravado-filled self, says the Wachowskis wouldn’t take the project until they were sure they could bring something new to the table. "They are approaching these racing scenes in a way you’ve never seen before," said Silver, adding that the brothers are designing the movie’s look as they write. The film will shoot next year for a 2008 release.

Fans can expect to see the Mach 1 do some truly astonishing maneuvers, and they should be prepared to be thrilled as Chim Chim throws his dung at Racer X in slow motion as the camera does a complete 360 around him.

* Anyone who thinks the Ws didn’t direct that final confrontation between V and the cops is just plain goofy.