I just checked out the preview for Paul W. S. Anderson's remake of Death Race 2000 (cleverly titled "Death Race"). It seems that Anderson has taken the clever tale two steps back by adapting the trappings of modern gladiator films. Akin to Temmink and The Condemned (with shades of No Escape and The Running Man), Death Race has made the titular event contestants convicts.
While the race is televised in the 1975 film (a great showcase for Don Steele), it's not so much an opiate for the masses to quell political unrest as it is a ratings bonanza (a la Rollerball and its remake) with Joan Allen as the tyrannically producer out to make a buck from what amounts to prison labor. Gone are the thematic racers, in are body armor and front-mounted machine guns (more than just Machine Gun Joe Viterbo) to make Death Race into the long-promised "Spy Hunter" adaptation. Oh, wait, that's actually slated for the big screen in 2009 helmed by...? You guessed it, Paul W. S. Anderson.