Michael Mann’s Ferrari is revving again, two years after first discussions with Christian Bale in the lead. Now, Hugh Jackman is in talks to play Enzo Ferrari, and Noomi Rapace to play his estranged wife Linda. Their relationship, as fiery and combustible as the race cars that Ferrari designed, plays a big part in the script Mann wrote. They have loosely been discussing this teaming for months, and now things are starting to move for a summer 2018 production start. This comes as Jackman’s final Wolverine turn, Logan, has become a box office juggernaut, grossing north of $250 million worldwide in its first week and about to pass $100 million in domestic grosses. Ferrari is the drama Mann started in partnership with the late director Sydney Pollack almost 17 years ago. The film takes place in 1957, a year where passion, failure, success and death and life all collided in Ferrari’s battle for supremacy against rival Maserati. Christian Bale was going to play Ferrari two years ago, but developed health concerns when he began putting on weight. That should be easier for Jackman. He is a close physical match for Ferrari, and no longer has to obsessively count every calorie and bench press rep. Never has a star showed up as consistently ripped for such a sustained period, as Jackman has for the entirety of his Wolverine appearances in the X-Men films and the spinoff trilogy that concluded with Logan. The reward here could be a few bowls of pasta, playing the Italian automotive icon.
Deadline reports that Bale has exited the movie, citing health concerns over the weight gain he needed to achieve to play the role. The actor has slimmed down, bulked up, and pudged out for roles over the years, but I’d imagine you can only do that so many times before your body starts to revolt. Based on Brock Yates’s book, “Enzo Ferrari: The Man, the Cars, the Races,” with a script by Troy Kennedy Martin (The Italian Job) and David Rayfield (Out of Africa), the film tells story of the founder of one of the world’s most infamous car franchises. Last fall, Noomi Rapace signed on for the movie as well, but there’s no word if she’s still involved. The aim is get the movie made on schedule, and the hunt is on for a new A-list actor to take the lead role. Paramount is set to distribute.
Great news, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Paramount Pictures has picked up distribution rights to Michael Mann’s long-in-the-works Ferrari project, titled Enzo Ferrari. At the same time, Noomi Rapace is in talks to star opposite Christian Bale, who will play Enzo Ferrari, the Italian auto mogul. The long-gestating project finally got traction when it secured funding from Vendian and YooZoo Bliss Film Fund. YooZoo will distribute the movie in China, while Vincent Maraval’s Insiders will begin selling territories at AFM. The project adapts the 1991 book Enzo Ferrari: The Man, the Cars, the Races, the Machine, written by Brock Yates. The book recounted Ferrari’s ascent — working for Alfa Romeo, first as a racer and then as a developer, founding his own company in 1947, racing victories in the ’50s and ’60s, letting Fiat slowly take control of the company. But it also showed Ferrari’s tyrannical and manipulative nature, how he pushed drivers to the breaking point (and even death), his hatred of his lifelong marriage and his many affairs. If a deal is made, Rapace would play Ferrari’s wife, Laura Dominica. The project is eyeing an $80 million budget, although Mann has a tendency to skid his numbers higher when actual shooting starts.