Hugh Jackman in Bad Education © 2019 HBO Films
One of the Oscar candidates this year was James Mangold’s gripping racing strip Le Mans 66 – Against every chance about the historic triumph of the US automaker Ford against the all-powerful favorite Ferrari at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1966. Well worth seeing film, if you haven’t seen it yet.
One of the executive producers of the film was a directing legend Michael Mannwho has wanted to make a film about sports car visionary Enzo Ferrari for almost two decades. Christian Bale, who in Le Mans 66 embodied the British racing driver Ken Miles, was supposed to portray Ferrari for Michael Mann about five years ago, but left because he had health concerns about the necessary weight gain for the role. Yes, Christian Bale, the king of yo-yo weight for roles, actually turned down a part because he didn’t want to gain weight for it. For Le Mans 66 he had to slim down properly. The Italian actor Remo Girone played Enzo Ferrari in the film.
But possibly thanks to the great success of Le Mans 66 Michael Mann’s heart project is now picking up speed again. Bales Prestigious-Co-Star Hugh Jackman is in conversation, the main role in Manns Ferrari to take over. The original script was written by Troy Kennedy Martin, who died in 2009 (Charlie dusts off millions); Man has since revised it himself.
Production company STX becomes Ferrari offer them to potential buyers in the Cannes virtual film market, and Amazon already showed great interest. The film is padded and not spilled. Mann plans to have a true-to-life car fleet built for the film.
The film will highlight the most difficult year in Ferrari’s life, 1957, a year after the death of his only son with wife Laura, whose stormy marriage was shaken by tragedy. Ferrari’s illegitimate son Piero, the result of a wartime affair, was 12 at the time and was looking for his place in the world. At the time, Scuderia Ferrari was on the verge of bankruptcy and Ferrari put everything on one card, participating in the infamous Mille Miglia, a 1000-mile race across Italy in which a total of twelve people were killed in two accidents, whereupon that Race in this form was no longer held.
Was Le Mans 66 Still a classic underdog film, Mann’s Ferrari is supposed to be more like The Godfather feel, an epic about secrets, relentless competition, extreme situations and the deadly beauty of car racing.
So I was interested in the project when Michael Mann was mentioned. It’s a shame that this excellent director has only seen one box-office flopped film in the last decade (Blackhat) has rotated. As Silence and The Irishman for Martin Scorsese and Lincoln for Steven Spielberg, would be Ferrari the fulfillment of a dream project for the director, and maybe finally an Oscar role for Jackman. Filming is scheduled to begin in spring 2021.