Warner Bros. has every right to be confident in their tentpole pic for 2008, Speed Racer. It has name-brand recognition, though of what variety, it remains to be seen. It’s being written and directed by the Wachowskis, who still have a lot of clout despite the disappointment in the Matrix sequels and the merely respectable performance of V for Vendetta. Finally, it’s got a broad concept that’ll allow for almost any sort of action you want to throw in it. But Warners isn’t just confident in this baby as they’ve just positioned it right in the crosshairs of some of the biggest guns of 2008.

The film was set to open on May 23rd, but in January, Lucas and Spielberg claimed the day before as the opening date of Indy IV. Now, they’ve moved Speed Racer up to a day-and-date global release of May 9th, in a move that they consider giving the film maximum playability for the rest of the summer. That’s going to be a little tricky, tho, because Iron Man opens on May 2nd and the second Narnia film opens the week after on May 16th, and both of those films would be aiming at the same action/adventure/big effects extravaganza demographic that Speed Racer would, with Indy waiting like a famished lion to likely gobble the remains of the competition.

Still, Warners considers that a better fate than staying at the original date and facing not only the Lucas/Spielberg juggernaut directly, but international soccer championships that run all through June and would probably keep a lot of people in foreign markets in homes or stadiums rather than in theaters.