Christian Bale to Take the Lead in Michael Mann’s ‘Ferrari’ Biopic

Michael Mann's Film

Christian Bale has apparently agreed to star in the Michael Mann’s long-in-development Ferrari project. According to Deadline, the actor has signed to play the lead role of Italian car maker and racing driver Enzo Ferrari.

Based on Brock Yates‘ 1991 book Enzo Ferrari: The Man, the Cars, the Races, the film would follow the rise of Ferrari as the iconic car brand in the 1950s. The story will also have a romantic angle as part of the plot, and a female lead is being sought although no names have been revealed.

Here’s the book description:

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.

Mann’s long-in-the-works project will be shopped at the upcoming Venice and Toronto film festivals and will reunite Bale with Mann, who directed him in 2009’s Public Enemies. Ferrari won’t shoot until next summer. I hope this will finally be Mann’s late-career return to form. We’ll see.