Ferrari’s feuds coming to the silver screen
INDUSTRY NEWS/ Hollywood to tell the stories of bitter Italian rivals Enzo Ferrari and Ferruccio Lamborghini, as well as an American who built a ‘back to the future’ car, writes Denis Droppa
Hollywood has taken a renewed fascination in cars — or rather the colourful personalities behind them — with several biopics lined up including the stories of Enzo Ferrari, Ferruccio Lamborghini and John DeLorean.
As petrolheads we tend to concentrate very much on the cars, but their human creators can be just as interesting. Sometimes the birth of an iconic car brand has nothing to do with a grand vision or master plan to change the world. Sometimes it’s about hubris, one-upmanship or revenge — as in the case of the bitter rivalry between Ferrari and Lamborghini.
The story goes that Ferruccio, a tractor manufacturer who also owned a couple of Ferraris, gave some friendly advice to Enzo on how to improve the clutch on his sports cars. Mr Ferrari wasn’t too impressed and told Ferruccio to stick to his tractors as he didn’t know how to drive Ferraris and so a rivalry was born between the two Italians.
Ferrucio decided to build his own sports cars to compete against Ferrari, and created the bull-badged brand that has given us iconic supercars such as the Miura, the Countach and today’s Aventador.
The biopic, simply titled Lamborghini, is based on the biography Ferruccio Lamborghini: La storia ufficiale by Ferrucio’s son, Tonino. Antonio Banderas is set to take the role of Ferruccio, with Alec Baldwin cast as Enzo. There is no release date for Lamborghini yet.
Another biopic due for 2019 will be about Enzo himself, with Hugh Jackman cast in the role of the driver and entrepreneur who built up one of the world’s most iconic car brands. The movie, which has been in development for several years, is set in 1957 and will reportedly focus on another Ferrari rivalry, this time with Italian brand Maserati, which Ferrari now owns.
Yet another movie involving Ferrari, due in 2019, will be a biopic about the 1966 Le Mans 24-hour race that pitted Ford against the Italian sportscar firm. In another motoring rivalry borne of resentment (Enzo seemed to make a few enemies in his time), Ford created its Le Mans-winning GT40 sports car to take on Ferrari after Ford’s offer to buy the then Italian sports car firm was rebuked at the 11th hour. It led Henry Ford to utter the famous words: “Build me a car that will crush Ferrari at Le Mans.”
And Ford did just that, and after failed attempts at the 24hour classic in 1964 and 1965 it stormed to victory in 1966, and also took second and third places. Set to star Matt Damon and Christian Bale, the movie’s working title is Ferrari vs Ford.
Apart from Enzo’s feuds, one of the motor industry’s most interesting characters was American John DeLorean, who gave us the short-lived but famous DeLorean DMC 12 gullwinged sports car.
Although the DMC-12 was only in production for the US market from 1981 to 1983, it became immortalised as the
Left: Hugh Jackman is set to play Enzo Ferrari in a new biopic about the iconic Italian racing driver and entrepreneur.
Driven tells the story of maverick American car designer John DeLorean, whose gullwinged DMC-12 sports car was immortalised in the Back to the Future movies.