A proper big-budget movie chronicling the life of Enzo Ferrari and his amazing automotive accomplishments has been on virtually every car guy’s wishlist for decades.
Rumors of such a film have circulated for years, and all manner of stars have been rumored to be attached to the project–from Al Pacino to Clint Eastwood to the late director Sydney Pollack. Now it seems there may be not one but two Ferrari films in the works, and some A-listers are definitely in the mix, along with a healthy dose of political intrigue. (Hey, it is Ferrari we are talking about!)
The biggest news recently has been the announcement last week that none other than Oscar-winning Hollywood legend Robert De Niro has been cast to star as Il Commendatore himself. The 71-year-old actor has been quoted as saying , “It is an honor to tell the life of an extraordinary man who revolutionized the world of motor sport.” He goes on to report that the film, which he is helping to produce through his own Tribeca film company, “will go into production soon, mostly in Italy, and has absolute priority over all my other projects.”
Meanwhile, back in Hollywood…
Noted director/producer Michael Mann–perhaps best known for his revolutionary 1980s television series Miami Vice…
…and the ’90s epic crime drama Heat, which, ironically, starred De Niro and Pacino in their first time sharing the screen (they were both in Godfather Part II, but shared no scenes)–has been trying to put together a Ferrari feature film since the days of Heat.
Mann has a complicated history with Italy’s most famous motoring marque, having ruffled the mane of the prancing horse by using a faux Ferrari in the first two seasons of Miami Vice when the show was refused the use of a real Ferrari from the factory. The steed in its stead was a replica of a 1972 Ferrari 365 GTS/4 “Daytona” Spider crafted from a C3 Corvette with a fiberglass replica body mounted on it.
After the first two seasons, when it had become one of TV’s top-rated shows, the Ferrari factory reconsidered, and supplied the show with their flagship Testarossa for the show’s remaining seasons.
Mann rebooted his own creation in 2006 with a Miami Vice feature film starring Colin Farrell and Jamie Foxx. Ferrari again played a signature role, providing a special color F430 Spider to rocket Crockett and Tubbs around South Beach. All the while, Mann still had a Ferrari biopic on the back burner…
Now it seems Mann’s Maranello ode is moving forward, reportedly based on Enzo Ferrari: The Man, the Cars, the Races, the biography by noted auto journalist (and writer of such screenplays as Cannonball Run and Smokey & The Bandit II!) Brock Yates. No word on stars, though it will be tough to match the on-screen gravitas of De Niro (even if the star of Raging Bull might be more thematically suited to Lamborghini!)
Suffice to say two dueling Ferrari feature films in 2016 is going to make for some fireworks. But if you’re like us you won’t mind buying a ticket to both to see who truly nails the life and times of the man the created the most iconic sports car brand in automotive history!