Who wants to see Christian Bale attempt an Italian accent? Right now, that’s the big selling point on Michael Mann’s long-in-development Enzo Ferrari biopic, Ferrari (at least for me anyway). According to Deadline, the Oscar-winning actor will reteam with his Public Enemies director for the film, which is being packaged for buyers at the Toronto Film Festival and gearing up to shoot in the summer. The movie “will take place in 1957, a year where passion, failure, success and death and life all collided.” This is opposed to other years in history where not much happened and nothing collided.
It should be noted that Ferrari is a different project than Go Like Hell, which Mann was attached to direct back in 2011. That film, based on the book of the same name by A.J. Baime, dealt with the rivalry between Ferrari and Henry Ford II at Le Mans. According to THR, Ferrari is based on Brock Yates’ 1991 book Enzo Ferrari: The Man, The Cars, The Race, The Machine.
While Ferarri might have an interesting story, it’s tough to put a lot of faith in Mann at this point. I know Miami Vice has its defenders (I’m not one of them), but Public Enemies is hugely disappointing and audiences and critics alike dismissed Blackhat. There’s not much reason to believe that Ferrari will break that streak.
As for Bale, he’s also attached to star in the financial drama The Big Short and opposite Oscar Isaac in the love story The Promise. He was set to lead The Deep Good-By, but an injury to his ACL has delayed/ended the project.
Here’s the synopsis for Yates’ Enzo Ferrari: The Man, The Cars, The Race, The Machine:
To his legion of admirers, Italian auto titan Enzo Ferrari (1898-1988) was a genius who personally created marvelous cars of advanced design. But as Car and Driver columnist Yates points out in this captivating, demythologizing biography, none of Ferrari’s racing cars “was a glittering example of daring technology,” and he had almost no hand in the making of the later road cars that bore his name. Revealed as a hot-tempered megalomaniac given to loud belching and countless amorous conquests, Ferrari fathered an illegitimate child and led a shadowy second life as a respite from the “simmering hatred” of his marriage. He portrayed himself as a loyal “motorized knight-errant,” defending Italy’s national honor, but in Yates’s esimate he was interested solely in winning races and sometimes pushed his drivers to dangerous extremes. Yates deftly records the carnage of major races, business wheeling and dealing, and the political dimensions of motor racing from the pre-WW II Rome-Berlin Axis to today’s ribbon-waving nationalism. [Amazon]