Michael Mann's 'Ferrari' Gets Into Gear With Hugh Jackman Replacing Christian Bale, Production Set To Start In 2021

Michael Mann's long-in-development Ferrari movie is finally shifting back into gear. More than five years after Mann's biopic about the driver and businessman who founded the famed car manufacturer was first announced, STX has set a 2021 production start date for Ferrari, with Hugh Jackman in talks to star.

STXinternational announced that it has set a spring 2021 production start date for Michael Mann's Ferrari, which will launch sales for distribution at the upcoming Cannes Virtual Market. Jackman is in talks to star, three years after the Bad Education star was first reported to be in discussions to replace Christian Bale in Mann's Enzo Ferrari biopic (with Bale turning around to star in another Ferrari-related film just last year). The replacement came about as Bale was having difficulty with the weight gain required for the film, and had to leave the project so Mann could quickly find a replacement to make his expected filming start date. That start date came and passed, but it seems like Jackman is still involved and ready to take the wheel for Ferrari.

Mann will direct the script written by Troy Kennedy Martin (The Italian Job) and based on Brock Yates' book Enzo Ferrari – The Man and the Machine. Mann will also produce via his Forward Pass production banner alongside producing team John Lesher, Lars Sylvest, Thorsten Schumacher, Gareth West and Niels Juul. Here is the synopsis for Ferrari:

FERRARI is the story of one summer in 1957 when all the dynamic forces in Enzo Ferrari's life – as combustible and volatile as the racecars he builds – collide.  The racecar company he and his wife Laura built is going broke. Their tempestuous marriage has already suffered the death of their son, Dino, and Ferrari's other son, 12-year old Piero, the product of a wartime romance, now wants to know his place in the world. Enzo boldly rolls the dice for all their futures on one race – 1,000 miles across Italy, the brutal and infamous 1957 Mille Miglia. During the dangerous race, Laura will discover long kept secrets, opportunities will rise and fade, and drivers, like surrogate sons, will push beyond the edge...all, as the red cars slam through crowded towns and mountain passes – racing towards outcomes that will determine the future of the lives – seen intimately – of these vivid characters.

Principal photography is expected to start in spring 2021, following the film's international sales at the upcoming Cannes Virtual Market. STX will directly distribute the film in the U.K. and Ireland, while CAA Media Finance is representing the U.S. rights.

For a while back, it seemed like the competing Ferrari films — Mann's Ferrari biopic and James Mangold's drama Ford v Ferrari — were neck and neck in the race to theaters, but Mangold's Ford v Ferrari would make it first, hitting theaters last year and earning a few Oscar nods (and two technical trophies). While it's a little ironic that Bale would end up getting acclaim for another Ferrari movie, the combination of Mann and Jackman behind the wheel for Ferrari will be more than enough to set the film apart from Ford v Ferrari. The film will be highly anticipated regardless, as it is Mann's first film in more than five years.