Last year's Logan was a beautiful swan song for actor Hugh Jackman and a fitting sendoff for the Wolverine character. The film even netted an Academy Award nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay, an incredible achievement for a comic book movie. Much of the film's success can be attributed to James Mangold, who also had a hand in the script, so naturally it is exciting to see what the director will tackle next. Well now we have know what that will be. James Mangold is set to direct a currently-untitled film for 20th Century Fox about the battle between Ford and Ferrari in the quest to build the world's fastest race car.
The film will focus on the true story of Ford's attempt to build a car capable of defeating perennial powerhouse Ferrari at the 1966 Le Mans World Championship. No American car company had ever won the race that was dominated by Ferrari in the '60s and Jaguar in the decade prior. Henry Ford II enlisted a team of engineers and designers, led by Carroll Shelby and British driver Ken Miles, to build an entirely new car that could unseat Ferrari from its throne. According to Variety, James Mangold is developing this project alongside screenwriters Jez and John-Henry Butterworth. The two brothers previously worked together on the well-received Edge of Tomorrow. While we are far from official casting, it is possible that James Mangold is looking at Matt Damon for Carroll Shelby and Christian Bale (who was ironically once attached to play Enzo Ferrari) for Ken Miles.
Anyone who has even a passing knowledge of automotive history has heard the name Carroll Shelby and Ford's legendary GT40. While sports movies are a dime a dozen, and every couple of years brings more boxing, baseball and football movies, racing movies are more rare. This film strikes me as something that will be a cross between Rush, Miracle and The World's Fastest Indian, as the American team works together to build an incredible machine and overcome a seemingly unbeatable opponent. Automotive and racing history is an area that hasn't been mined much for cinematic inspiration, but there is potential there. The story of Enzo Ferrari and Ferruccio Lamborghini, for example, is the stuff of legend and deserves a cinematic adaptation.
James Mangold is an exciting choice to tackle a project such as this. It is different enough from his previous efforts to offer him the opportunity to show something new while still being something I'm confident he can deliver on. James Mangold previously tackled a true story in Walk the Line, and his work on Logan, The Wolverine and 3:10 to Yuma show that he has the action chops to direct the racing that should be the climax of this film.
It isn't totally clear yet whether the film going by Untitled Ford vs. Ferrari Project will be James Mangold's next directorial effort. He is also attached at Fox to direct a crime thriller called The Force, based on Don Winslow's best-selling novel. There is currently no release date set for the film. Stay tuned to CinemaBlend for the latest on this and all your movie news, and check out all the biggest titles hitting theaters this year in our release schedule.