If you’re an HBO (or HBO Max) subscriber, you may have noticed that Ford v Ferrari is now playing on the service. The 2019 movie starring Matt Damon and Christian Bale won two Academy Awards earlier this year and was nominated for Best Picture.
(If you haven’t seen Ford v Ferrari yet, treat yourself. It’s a very good film.)
But James Mangold’s movie focused almost entirely on car designer Carroll Shelby and driver Ken Miles building a Ford car that could beat Ferrari at the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans race.
Could another movie show the Ferrari side of the story? Well, maybe.
Director Michael Mann (Heat, Collateral) is moving forward with an Enzo Ferrari biopic that he’s been developing for nearly 20 years, as first reported by Deadline. Hugh Jackman (Logan, The Greatest Showman) is reportedly set to play the legendary driver and entrepreneur. And what Mann has in mind is a story with a much broader view of its subject.
Deadline’s Mike Fleming Jr. compares it to The Godfather in terms of scope. That would certainly be ambitious. The first Godfather film covered a 10-year span, while The Godfather Part II went back decades to the very beginning of the Corleone story while also covering the present, serving as both a prequel and sequel.
According to Fleming, the primary focus of Mann’s film would be the 1957 Mille Miglia race, an event that takes place over 1,000 miles across Italy. Ten spectators were killed and another 20 were injured as a result of accidents during the race, prompting the Italian government to ban all future events.
But the epic length of the Mille Miglia would provide plenty of opportunities for the story to look back at the events in Ferrari’s life that led up to the 1957 competition, including the process of building his company with wife Laura, their marriage, and the death of the couple’s son Dino. Ferrari essentially based the future of his company on his team’s performance in the race.
In Ford v Ferrari, not much is seen of Enzo Ferrari (played by Remo Girone), except for a key scene in which Ferrari rejects Henry Ford’s offer to buy the Italian automaker.
Ferrari is otherwise seen in quick glimpses later in the film showing pride from the owner’s box at Le Mans when his car is winning, followed by frustration when Ford’s team wins the race.
Interestingly, Bale was originally attached to star in Mann’s Ferrari film. But the actor dropped out over concerns that he would have to put on weight so soon after thinning down for his role as Michael Burry in The Big Short.
Mann turned out to be an executive producer on Ford v Ferrari when his project stalled because of the recasting and rewriting of the script. (Original screenwriter Troy Kennedy-Martin passed away in 2009.) The movie will be based on the 1991 book Enzo Ferrari – The Man And The Machine by Brock Yates.