“We are in receipt of information that may upset you,” PETA wrote to the producer Joel Silver, the man behind such megahits as the “Matrix” and “Die Hard” series. “We’ve received several troubling complaints from people who have been on the ‘Speed Racer’ set and report that the main chimpanzee ‘actor’ has been beaten and has bitten one of the human actors.” PETA urged Silver to stop using the live critters and switch to animatronics.
“We appreciate the concerns of your organization,” came back the letter from movie company Warner Bros. “We also respect the vision and choices of the filmmakers with which we work. Every option on a film is carefully weighed, and for this production, the decision was made to use live animals.”
A spokesperson confirmed that a chimp did chomp on a young actor, but said that the actor was treated and the animal was given a rest. She sent along assurances from the American Humane Society that no animals were being abused.
Visit the link above for more on this. In the cartoon series, Speed Racer’s younger brother, Spritle, and his pet chimpanzee Chim-Chim, got into mischief by hiding in the trunks of cars.