F1 World Applauds “Legend” Michael Mann’s ‘Ferrari’ Before the Adam Driver Starrer Captures Hollywood

Published 12/20/2023, 12:19 AM EST

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As acclaimed filmmaker Michael Mann prepares to dazzle the world with his latest project, Ferrari, which is set to release on Christmas Day, 2023, the Formula 1 world embraces the movie as they share their thoughts on the premiere. Set against the lavish backdrop of Modena, Italy, this endeavor—which took 30 years of research—promises to be a cinematic masterpiece, earning a standing ovation from the Formula 1 world right before its global debut.

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In Ferrari, Michael Mann unfolds a pivotal chapter in the life of the legendary Enzo Ferrari, portrayed by the talented Adam Driver, with Penélope Cruz bringing to life the character of Laura Ferrari. Eight years in the making, the film takes viewers on a journey back to the summer of 1957, capturing the emotional complexities of Enzo Ferrari’s life during a period of personal and financial turbulence.

F1 insiders bow down to the attention to detail in Michael Mann’s Ferrari

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The genesis of Ferrari traces back to a script penned by British screenwriter Troy Kennedy Martin. Mann, known for his keen eye for gripping narratives, seized the opportunity to breathe life into Kennedy Martin’s creation, reshaping it into a film that explores the emotional terrain of Enzo Ferrari’s tumultuous life.

Mann’s adept timing aligned with the resurgence of the popularity of racing films, fueled by the success of the Netflix documentary series Drive to Survive. Sensing the perfect storm, the filmmaker reworked the script and transported his crew to Italy during the summer and autumn of 2022, capturing the essence of the picturesque Modena and its rich racing history.

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What sets Ferrari apart from traditional racing dramas is Mann’s emphasis on human emotions. Enzo Ferrari, portrayed as an alienated loner battling personal and financial crises, becomes the film’s focal point. While capturing the thrill of racing, Mann delves deep into the hearts and minds behind the wheel, transcending the genre’s typical focus on speed and competition.

On the Sky Sports F1 podcast, Martin Brundle shared his thoughts on the movie, focusing on its accuracy in representing the infamous Mille Miglia race. Brundle, who experienced the race firsthand, commented, I really enjoyed the movie. Took me a little while to tune into the heavy Italian accent if I’m honest. But knowing the backstory helps and these incredible drivers around the table with Enzo Ferrari and what a character. I never had the privilege of meeting him actually and I wish I had done.”

But the story and the backstory to the whole thing and the relationship and driving the team forward and all those lovely lines of, you know, ‘I make cars to go racing, I don’t race to sell more cars’ and stuff like that where you realize… I think he got the true Spirit of Enzo Ferrari and just the scary nature of doing that race,Brundle added.

Simon Lazenby, who had the privilege of sitting down with the legendary Michael Mann, shared insights into the director’s mind. He noted, “He’s a legend, isn’t he? I mean, he’s 80 years of age and he doesn’t look it. He certainly doesn’t seem it when you sit down and talk to him. And his mind is just a whirling torrent of everything that he’s pieced together over 30 years of research for this.”

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Michael Mann’s attention to detail for Ferrari took him to places and crossed paths with people who lived through the time and watched the races the movie portrays.

Mann got the details of Alfonso de Portago’s crash from an actual eyewitness

One of the most haunting moments in the history of the Mille Miglia race involved the Ferrari, driven by Alfonso de Portago in 1957. A tire blowout led to a fatal crash, claiming nine lives and sparking a public outcry. In his pursuit of historical accuracy, Mann went beyond police reports and CGI.

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In the podcast, Simon Lazenby revealed an intriguing aspect of Mann’s dedication to detail. To recreate the crash scene authentically, Mann ventured to the actual town and the crash location where the tragedy unfolded. But what elevates the authenticity of Ferrari even more is Mann’s encounter with an actual eyewitness of de Portago’s crash.

Lazenby shared, “He went to the actual town as part of his research. They got the police reports so they could work out exactly what had happened, and the angle the car was doing so they could match it up with the CGI. And whilst they were there, a really old guy came out of the house and he said, ‘Oh, you’re talking about the de Portago crash. I was there that day. This is what really happened.’ So he was getting eyewitness testimony, he built up this… he had you know, volumes of files on the subject.”

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So, how excited are you for this amazing Christmas day present? Share your thoughts on Michael Mann’s level of obsession with portrayals as close to reality as possible.

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Written by:

Veerendra Vikram Singh

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"Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people's thinking." Hi there, I am Veer and I come from a family that lives and breathes football, but somehow I never could fit into that mold.
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Edited by:

Aditi Krishnan

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