Oscar nominee Adam Driver, Oscar winner Penelope Cruz and Emmy nominee Shailene Woodley have been cast in Michael Mann’s big-budget biopic of racing mogul Enzo Ferrari. The casting of these three has given Michael Mann’s passion project the legs to rush to the start line.
House of Gucci and Marriage Story star Adam Driver is set to replace Hugh Jackman in the title role while Parallel Mothers Penelope Cruz will portray Ferrari’s wife Laura. Woodley, star of HBO’s Big Little Lie will play mistress Lina Lardi.
Mann has been working on this film for two decades. The film is set during the summer of 1957. Ex-racecar driver is in crisis. The company that he and his wife had built from scratch for ten years is on the verge of bankruptcy. Their marriage is strained as they mourn one son and the acknowledgment of another. He decides to counter his losses by taking a chance on one race – 1000 miles across Italy, the iconic Mille Miglia.
Mann will direct. The script is based on Brock Yate’s book Enzo Ferrari: The Man and the Machine and is written by Mann and Troy Kennedy Martin (The Italian Job).
In reaction to the news, Mann said,
“Being able to have these wonderfully talented artists, actors Adam Driver, Penélope Cruz and Shailene Woodley, bring to life these unique characters on location in Modena and the Emilia-Romagna is a vision fulfilled.”
STX is handling international rights and now with a big deal made with Mann, it has picked up domestic rights. Amazon is also aboard in a handful of international markets. STX International is looking to close deals this week in other international markets. Some big pacts have already been secured, including Leone in Italy.
“Ferrari is so much more than a story about a man and his machine. It is an extraordinary and emotional story that Michael has been developing for years and the entire team at STX is looking forward to the start of production with this dream cast and filmmaker. Adam Driver is one of the most talented and fascinating actors working today, and we could not be more thrilled to pair him with Penélope, whose legendary career builds with every role she takes.”Adam Fogelson, Chairman of STXfilms Motion Picture Group.
The project has been gestating for a long time with multiple changes made but never has casting been this far along.
Driver is a two-time Oscar nominee. Once for BlacKkKlansman and for Marriage Story. Recently he has been in Anette, The Last Duel, and House of Gucci. Next, he is starring in Sony Picture’s 65 and in Netflix’s White Noise.
Cruz was nominated this week for Best Actress Oscar in Parallel Mothers. She has won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in Vicky Cristina Barcelona and was nominated two times for her roles in Volver and Nine.
Woodley was nominated for an Emmy for Big Little Lies and won the Independent Spirit Award for Alexander Payne’s The Descendants. Recently she can be seen in The Mauritanian with Jodie Foster and Benedict Cumberbatch. She is filming Three Women, a limited series for Showtime, and will be seen next in Damian Szifron’s thriller Misanthrope.
Mann, a legend in the industry has been nominated four times for the Academy Award for Best Picture (The Insider, The Aviator), Best Screenplay (The Insider), Best Director (The Insider), and won an Emmy for Jericho Mile. He is currently attached to produce HBO’s Tokyo Vice.
Ferrari will reportedly start production in May in Italy.