Thursday, 30 April 2015

Michael Mann set for new Ferrari biopic

Just when Robert De Niro (Heat) and the producers behind Ferrari were thinking they might have the track to themselves when it comes to biopics of car racing legend Enzo Ferrari, news arrives via Variety that Michael Mann (Public Enemies) has become the latest surprise contender on the grid.

Mann is now attached to guide a competing, as yet untitled biopic about Ferrari, who redefined the high-powered Italian sports car and was partly responsible for kick-starting Formula 1 racing. Mann has taken two existing treatments, one by Troy Kennedy Martin (The Italian Job) and another from David Rayfield (Out Of Africa) and combined them into one script. Everything is based on Brock Yates' 1991 book Enzo Ferrari: The Man, The Cars, The Races.

"Mann is very passionate about this project and people are interested," enthuses producer and Cecchi Gori Media boss Niels Juul. He has some financiers already making promises and will be touting more rights deals at this years Cannes film market. With luck, Mann should be sending cars speeding around tracks next year.

It will certainly be a relief for Juul's company, which has been trying to get the project off the starting grid for years, with one version in 2004 combining Al Pacino (Heat) as Ferrari and Sydney Pollack (The Interpreter) directing, but ultimately stalling when Pollack died in 2008. Of course, there is still the De Niro version to think about, but that is still in search of a director, while Mann will need to lock in someone to play the motoring genius.

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