Christopher Nolan and Michael Caine. Spike Lee and Denzel Washington. Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio. There are just some collaborations that work so well they reunite repeatedly in an attempt to reignite the magic that made the pairing so special in the first place. Now, Christian Bale and Michael Mann may be on their way to joining the ranks of the frequent collaborators, having just signed on to work on their second movie together since 2009's Public Enemies.
This time, they will reunite to tackle a subject Mann has been attached to for some time, translating Brock Yates' biography “Enzo Ferrari: The Man, the Cars, the Races, the Machine” from the page to the big screen in Ferrari.
The Wrap is reporting that Bale will play the titular role of Ferrari, the Italian car manufacturer and race car driver. It is rumored to be set in 1957, the same year a Ferrari car crashed and resulted in the death of four adults and five children. This is not the first time Mann's name has been attached to a Ferrari project, however. Most recently he was slated to direct Go Like Hell, a film that would have focused on the rivalry between Ford and Ferrari, and their competition to win big at the Le Mans track in 1966.
Perhaps that film was overshadowed by the 2013 Ron Howard film Rush, another film focused on the rivalry between racers - this time Formula One drivers James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth) and Niki Lauda (Daniel Brühl) - and studios thought one racing movie was enough for a few years. Either way, Go Like Hell never came to fruition and now that Bale has signed on, Ferrari is being fast-tracked and is scheduled to shoot next summer.
This seems like the ideal project for Mann, and obviously something he is passionate about, having worked on various iterations of it over the years. Ferrari's life is already packed with action and drama, even before the Hollywood treatment comes in. Fighting in WWI, rising to prominence as a race car driver and manager, having to manufacture cars for Mussolini's fascist government, tragic deaths, affairs, and a child out of wedlock... the man lived an interesting life. The movie's structure itself sounds promising too; Mann works best when he is reined in and focused. Keeping the narrative centered on a single year rather than Ferrari's entire life should allow for more concise storytelling.
And then there's the fact that Bale and Mann worked well together before, so hopefully they will again. Of course, only two movies does not an epic partnership make. We still have to see what Mann does with the script and if Bale brings any electricity to the role. Either way, when the material is strong Bale is hard to beat and Mann knows his way around real-life drama. Expect to hear more updates soon as they are still looking to round out the cast with a female lead and secure financial backing.
Ferrari is currently in development. Stay tuned to Screen Rant for more information as it becomes available.
Source: The Wrap