Ferrari: 6 Quick Things We Know About The Upcoming Michael Mann Movie

Adam Driver in House of Gucci
(Image credit: MGM)

Throughout his legendary career, Michael Mann has released some of the most iconic crime movies, like Thief starring the late James Caan and the highly influential Heat, which finally saw Robert De Niro and Al Pacino share the screen (they didn’t have any scenes together in The Godfather Part II). In that same stretch of time, Mann has released movies that focused on larger-than-life real-world characters like Muhammad Ali in Ali, and John Dillinger in Public Enemies, to varying levels of success. In his upcoming picture, Ferrari, the prolific filmmaker will put together another star-studded cast while also telling the story of a living, breathing icon.

Though we don’t yet know when the upcoming biographical drama about one of the most legendary names in racing will land in theaters, there is already a great deal of information we know about the film, including its cast, story, and the level of dedication Mann has put into a project he’s been trying to get off the ground for years now.

Adam Driver, Penelope Cruz, And Shailene Woodley Lead The Ferrari Cast

The Ferrari cast

(Image credit: 20th Century Studios; Universal Pictures; Open Road Films)

When Ferrari rolls into theaters at some point in the near future, it will see a truly remarkable cast bring its story to life. In February 2022, Variety announced that Adam Driver had been cast as Enzo Ferrari, the famed race car driver and founder of the Ferrari sports car brand. Appearing alongside Driver in the anticipated upcoming biographical drama is Penélope Cruz, who will be taking on the role of his wife, Laura. Joining those two at the top of the cast is Shailene Woodley, who will be playing Lina Lardi, his longtime mistress.

Several months later, in July 2022, Deadline announced that Patrick Dempsey (with his platinum blonde hairdo) had been added to the cast as Italian race car driver Piero Taruffi, Jack O’Connell had signed on to portray British racing legend Peter Collins, and Sarah Gadon was cast to portray Mexican actress Linda Christian in the upcoming picture.

Adam Driver in House of Gucci

(Image credit: 20th Century Studios)

The Movie Will Center On Race Car Driver Enzo Ferrari As He Counters Personal Struggles With A 1,000-Mile Race

Instead of telling the full story of Enzo Ferrari’s career (both as a driver and entrepreneur), the drama will instead center on a singular moment in his life, specifically one of his biggest struggles. According to The Hollywood Reporter, This upcoming movie will turn its focus to 1957, a year in which the car manufacturer was facing not only bankruptcy but the dissolution of his tumultuous marriage. In a last-ditch effort to right the ship, he leads a team of drivers to take part in what would be the final Mille Miglia, an epic 1,000-mile endurance race between Brescia and Rome that used Italy’s public roads as its track.

The Italian Job (1969)

(Image credit: Paramount Pictures)

Michael Mann Co-Wrote Ferrari With Troy Kennedy Martin, Who Penned The Original The Italian Job

Michael Mann has written the majority of his films (Collateral and Blackhat being the only two without his name listed as a screenwriter), and that will once again be the case with Ferrari. But Mann wasn’t alone in adapting the screenplay that would become his 12th feature film, as he co-wrote the script alongside the late Troy Kennedy Martin, who wrote the original version of The Italian Job among other film and TV projects, per Deadline. The Scottish-born writer passed away in 2009, according to his obituary published in The Guardian newspaper.

Burt Reynolds and Dom DeLuise in The Cannonball Run

(Image credit: 20th Century Fox)

The Movie Is Based On Brock Yates’ 1991 Book, Enzo Ferrari — The Man, The Cars, The Races, The Machine

Though Mann and Martin have screenwriting credits for the upcoming film, it's based on the 1991 book, Enzo Ferrari — The Man, the Cars, the Races, the Machine by the late journalist and author Brock Yates, that covered the rise of the racing legend, according to Deadline. Yates had a prolific career of his own in the racing industry, having worked as a pit reporter for CBS’ coverage of NASCAR and host of the TNN racing show, American Sports Cavalcade, among other accomplishments.

In addition to writing his book on the rise of Enzo Ferrari as a driver and car manufacturer and other subjects in the racing world, Yates also created the notorious Cannonball Run, an unofficial and unsanctioned race from New York to Los Angeles that would go on to inspire the movie of the same name, which he also wrote.

Christian Bale in Ford v. Ferrari

(Image credit: 20th Century Studios)

Michael Mann Has Been Trying To Get Ferrari Off The Ground For Years

To say Ferrari is a long time coming would be an understatement of epic proportions considering the fact the director has been trying to get the project off the ground for several decades now, and has gone through multiple actors before the latest iteration with Adam Driver. At one point, it looked like Christian Bale was going to be taking on the lead role in the picture, but the actor pulled out in January 2016 due to health concerns over having to gain a great deal of weight in a short amount of time. The Academy Award-winning actor, who has made a career out of pushing his body to the limit for roles, has since admitted he has to stop changing his weight.

Following Bale’s departure, Hugh Jackman was cast in the lead role, but he, too, backed out in early 2022, clearing room for Driver to come in and take over the prime spot.

Adam Driver in Marriage Story

(Image credit: Netflix)

Production On Ferrari Kicked Off In Italy In August 2022

After years of planning and various cycles of starting and stopping, Deadline revealed in April 2022 that the acclaimed director was finally preparing to start production on Ferrari in Italy later in the summer. And, filming finally kicked off that August, as revealed by Mann on his official Twitter account, where he shared a picture of himself on a film set with the caption “Pronti, via!” which loosely translates to “Ready, go!” in English. 

There is still no word on how long it will take for them to wrap shooting, or if all the footage will be captured on location in Italy, but expect to hear more soon.

With production starting so late in the year, it’s almost guaranteed Ferrari won’t end up on the 2022 movie schedule. However, there’s a very good chance we will see it among the 2023 movie releases, and talking about the film and its potential at various awards ceremonies.

Philip Sledge
Content Producer

Philip grew up in Louisiana (not New Orleans) before moving to St. Louis after graduating from Louisiana State University-Shreveport. When he's not writing about movies or television, Philip can be found being chased by his three kids, telling his dogs to stop yelling at the mailman, or yelling about professional wrestling to his wife. If the stars properly align, he will talk about For Love Of The Game being the best baseball movie of all time.