Michael Mann’s upcoming Ferrari movie is of particular importance in the Car and Driver offices. That’s partly because, well, Ferraris, but even more so because it’s based on the book Enzo Ferrari: The Man and the Machine with a long time C/D editor, the late Brock Yates.
Brock published his book in 1991 and had plans to bring it to the big screen. But like exotic sports cars, movies can be hard to get off the drawing board. No novice to screenwriting, Brock already had financial (if not critical) success with 1981’s Cannonball Run. He attracted the interest of A-list directors Mann and Sydney Pollack, as well as Andre Morgan, who produced Cannonball Run. Perhaps less fortunate, Ferrari also held the interest of Cecchi Gori Pictures, an Italian production company that eventually filed for bankruptcy and saw its chief producer jailed for fraud.
The project collapsed until 2014, when Brock’s wife received a phone call asking if they would be interested in reactivating it. Brock was already suffering from Alzheimer’s, so Lady Pamela, as Brock often called her, gave the go ahead in his place. Mann stuck to the script, which focuses on 1957, a year of turmoil in Ferrari’s personal and professional life, when his marriage collapsed and his factory faced bankruptcy. Perhaps it’s fitting that such a tumultuous story has an equally tumultuous path to the screen.
Production is now running at full capacity. Filming began in Ferrari’s hometown of Modena in 2022, with the aim of making a release date this year. In the role of Enzo is Adam Driver, maybe he wants to use the Italian accent he has honed House of Gucci. Penélope Cruz plays Enzo’s wife, Laura, while Shailene Woodley plays longtime mistress Lina Lardi. For track scenes, real-life racing driver Patrick Dempsey won’t have to dig hard to play Ferrari driver Piero Taruffi. Brock didn’t live to see his vision of Enzo on screen, but he always knew it would make a hell of a movie.
LAMBORGHINI: THE MAN BEHIND THE LEGEND
The Ferruccio Lamborghini biography is available on Amazon. With Frank Grillo, The man behind the legend focuses on the early 60s, when Enzo Ferruccio’s feelings were so hurt, he built beautiful cars out of defenselessness. Somehow they made it boring.
The most accurate Grand Touring movie experience would be if someone’s mom came in halfway through and told you it’s dinner time and you should go home. Instead, Sony Pictures is basing the game movie on the true story of Jann Mardenborough, a GT Academy competition winner turned professional racer.
This one is not a remake, but a proposed new adventure. Steven Spielberg takes on the next chapter in the life of Charger-racing Frank Bullitt. Get ready for a jump in the prices of green Fords and black Dodges.
Ooh, a mystery film. Brad Pitt is heading an F1-themed project with Lewis Hamilton attached as producer. We’re guessing it won’t be a gender swap Thelma & Louise set against the hornet’s nest that is modern F1, but one can hope.