Warner Bros. Developing Animated Speedy Gonzales Film with Eugenio Derbez Voicing the Iconic Character

Eugenio Derbez has the need for Speed(y)

Warner Bros. is looking to bring Speedy Gonzalez, the beloved  Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies mouse, as an animated feature with the 54-year-old Mexican actor/director voicing the iconic character.

Speedy Gonzales

“In Mexico we grew up watching Speedy Gonzales,” Derbez told Deadline about “the Fastest Mouse in all Mexico.” “He was like a superhero to us, or maybe more like a revolutionario like Simon Bolivar or Pancho 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.”

Eugenio Derbez

Speedy Gonzales started out as a character in another cartoon before animators Friz Freleng and Hawley Pratt introduced him in an animated short of his own in 1955. Then, the legendary Mel Blanc voiced the mouse. That short, which also featured Looney Tunes’ Sylvester the Cat, ended up winning the Academy Award for best short subject.

The in-development project, which is tentatively entitled Speedy, will be produced by Dylan Sellers via Rivers Edge Films and Derbez and Ben Odell via their 3pas Studios.

Hank Nelken has been hired to script the story, which is described as a heist caper. The project will likely be cut into both English- and Spanish-speaking versions.

“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,” said Sellers. “In a time when Donald Trump is gaining momentum, the world needs Speedy more than ever.”

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Derbez has voiced animation in the past, particularly notable was Donkey in the Spanish-language version of ShrekBy doing so, he added even more humor into film with local colloquialisms and humor, which was credited for helping box office attendance in Spanish-speaking countries.

Arvelo’s “The Liberator,” Starring Edgar Ramirez, Selected as Venezuela’s Oscar Submission for Foreign Language Film

Alberto Arvelo is one step closer to a possible Oscar nomination…

The Venezuelan filmmaker’s latest project The Liberator has been selected to be the country’s submission to the Foreign Language Film category for the next Academy Awards, according to the Venezuelan paper Ultimas Noticias.

The Liberator

The paper reports that a selection of Venezuelan film industry professionals voted on Arvelo’s film earlier this week.

The voting was reportedly divided between The Liberator and Mariana Rondon’s indie drama Bad Hair, winner of the Golden Shell at the San Sebastian Film Festival last year.

An absolute rarity for local standards in terms of production value, The Liberator is a $50 million co-production between Spain and Venezuela about military and political leader Simon Bolivar, who commanded an army that freed a great part of the region from Spanish colonialism back in the 19th century, and is regarded as a forefather of South America, together with Argentine Jose de San Martin.

The epic period piece stars Venezuela’s most high profile international actor Edgar Ramírez (Carlos, Zero Dark Thirty) as Bolivar, with a score by the L. A. Philharmonic’s music director Gustavo Dudamel, and a script by Timothy J. Sexton, who co-wrote Alfonso Cuaron’s Children of Men.

The film’s unusually international crew also features Spanish cinematographer Xavi Gimenez (The MachinistAgora), production designer Paul D. Austerberry (Twilight Saga: Eclipse), costume designer Sonia Grande (Midnight in Paris) and editor Tariq Anwar (American Beauty, The King’s Speech).

The Liberator opened in Venezuela on July 24, selling more than 500,000 tickets to date.

The film is scheduled for US release on October 3.

First Look: Ramírez as Simón Bolívar

Édgar Ramírez’s transformation into one of the one of the most influential politicians in Latin American history is complete…

The the 35-year-old Venezuelan actor has completed his work as the star of the sweeping historical epic Libertador, which tells the story of Venezuelan military and political leader Simón Bolívar.

Edgar Ramirez in Libertador

Directed by Alberto Arvelo, Libertador follows the life of Bolivar, who was instrumental in Latin America’s struggle for independence from the Spanish empire.

Along with portraying Bolívar, Ramírez will serve as an executive producer on the project, which is considered the largest independent South American production to date.

Libertador, now in post-production.

Meanwhile, L.A. Philharmonic conductor Gustavo Dudamelwho helped kick off the London 2012 Festival with the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra—is scoring the Spanish, French and English-language pic in his feature film debut.

Ramirez, who earned critical acclaim for his performance in Carlos, will next appear on the big screen in U.S. theaters in Kathryn Bigelow’s Zero Dark Thirty, which opens in December.

In France, he’s currently in theaters in An Open Heart, starring opposite Juliette Binoche

Ramirez to Portray El Libertador Simon Bolivar

Édgar Ramírez is preparing to take on another real-life role…

Edgar Ramirez

Following his award-winning performance as Carlos the Jackal in 2010 biopic Carlos, the 35-year-old Venezuelan actor will portray Simón Bolívar in Libertador.

Simon Bolivar

Bolívar was instrumental in Latin America’s struggle for independence from the Spanish Empire. Told from his point of view, the film will trace his expeditions, epic military campaigns and vision to unify South America. The Venezuelan military and political leader is considered one of the most influential politicians in American history.

Ramírez, who most recently starred in Wrath of the Titans, will also serve as an executive producer on the film project.

Along with Ramírez in the title role, the cast includes Danny Huston, María Valverde, Imanol Arias and Billy Elliot’s Gary Lewis.

Venezuelan filmmaker Alberto Arvelo, who directed Ramírez in his last feature, Cyrano Fernandez, is set to helm the project.

Meanwhile, L.A. Philharmonic conductor Gustavo Dudamelwho will be helping kick off the London 2012 Festival with the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra—is scoring the Spanish, French and English-language pic.