Gentlemen, start your engines! Michael Mann’s planned Ferrari biopic got a big injection of horsepower this week with the announcement of a deal with STX and the news that an all-star cast was behind the wheel, one that includes Penélope Cruz, Shailene Woodley, and the aptly named Adam Driver.
The proposed film chronicles the life of Italian race-car enthusiast Enzo Ferrari. Driver will replace Hugh Jackman in the title role. Cruz will play Signora Ferrari, and Woodley will play Lina Lardi, his mistress. It’s expected the film will begin shooting in Italy this spring.
STX, which had already been on board to handle international rights, will now be handling domestic rights as well. The story unravels during the summer of 1957, when Enzo Ferrari is weathering crises to his company as well as to his marriage. His business is teetering on the edge of bankruptcy, and his personal life is in disarray after the death of a son and revelations about his affair with his mistress. Everything seems to revolve on the outcome of a grueling 1,000-mile road race across Italy, the Mille Miglia.
Michael Mann plans to direct from a script he wrote with Troy Kennedy Martin that they based on Enzo Ferrari—The Man and the Machine, a bio by Brock Yates. Mann issued this statement about the project: “Being able to have these wonderfully talented artists, actors Adam Driver, Penélope Cruz and Shailene Woodley, bring to life these unique characters on location in Modena and the Emilia-Romagna is a vision fulfilled.”
Director Michael Mann’s work on The Insider and The Aviator earned him four Oscar nominations. He also racked up credits on Heat,The Last of the Mohicans, Collateral, Public Enemies, Ali, Miami Vice, and Thief, and won an Emmy for The Jericho Mile.
Driver was nominated for Oscars for his appearances in BlacKkKlansman and Marriage Story. He also appeared in Annette, The Last Duel, and House of Gucci, and will soon appear in Sony Pictures’ 65 and Netflix’s White Noise. Cruz, who won an Academy Award for her supporting role in Vicky Cristina Barcelona, nabbed an Oscar nomination this week for best actress in Parallel Mothers. She also stars in IFC’s Official Competition. Woodley, an Emmy nominee for Big Little Lies, appeared recently in The Mauritanian and will soon be seen in Showtime’s Three Women and in Misanthrope.