Christian Bale to Play Enzo Ferrari for Michael Mann

Christian Bale 1

by: S. Scott Stanikmas

It would seem that Christian Bale is trading the Batmobile for another equally impressive piece of machinery.

According to Deadline, the actor has signed on for Michael Mann’s upcoming Enzo Ferrari film, which will be based on Brock Yates’ book Enzo Ferrari: The Man, The Cars, The Races.

This isn’t Mann’s first involvement with something Ferrari related. The director was attached to Go Like Hell, which focused on Ferrari’s feud with Henry Ford II, but that film never left the starting line. Mann has also directed TV commercial for the automobile manufacturer.

This project has been a long time in the making. Originally slated for 2004, this was Sydney Pollack’s project with Al Pacino set to star. That all fell apart with Pollack’s 2008 death and the film was left under the tarp until now.

Mann and Bale are no strangers to each other, having worked on the gangster film Public Enemies.

The official description to the book gives us a good idea of where the movie will focus:

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.

If done right, this could definitely be some Award-season bait.

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