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Motor-loving moviegoers are in luck. One of the films that is called to become an essential title for 2019 is in full pre-production and is that it has all the ingredients to, at a minimum, keep interest alive throughout its footage.
First, it is directed by a filmmaker accustomed to razing at the box office. James Mangold already captured the attention of critics and audiences in 2005 with his sixth feature film Walk the Line, based on the turbulent biography of the American musical myth Johnny Cash.
Le Mans, 1966: the year of the decisive victory © Getty Images
But it has been with his last three titles Knight & Day (2010), starring Tom Cruise; Wolverine (2013) and Logan (2017), these last two, film adaptations of the Marvel superhero Comics Wolverine, with which Mangold has become the king of the blockbuster.
Now he has got to work to bring to the big screen the rivalry that starred Ford and Ferrari in the mid-60s. For this he has left the book Go Like Hell: Ford, Ferrari, and Their Battle for Speed and Glory at Le Mans, written by AJ Baime, a regular contributor to The Wall Street Journal, and published in 2009.
Another of the great assets of the film, undoubtedly, will be the leading couple formed by Matt Damon and Christian Bale. The first will give life to Carrol Shelby (1923-2012), the driver and coach who managed to improve the Ford GT40 for his victory in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, while Bale will play Ken Miles, the driver who drove one of the three GT40s that crossed that finish line first.
Two actors of this size always drag a good number of spectators to the box office and more considering that Bale already has an Oscar for best supporting actor for The Fighter (2011), in addition to two other nominations for The Great American Scam ( 2014) and The big bet (2016) .
24 Hours of Le Mans, 1966 © Getty Images
Although the story itself already has enough pull for the general public and for motorists in particular.
For his part, Damon won an Oscar as a screenwriter for The Indomitable Will Hunting (1998) and has been nominated four other times, three as an actor for the same film as well as Invictus (2010) and The Martian (2016) and one more as a producer of Manchester facing the sea (2017).
A third actor who has confirmed that he will also appear in the cast is John Bernthal, known for his participation in the series The Walking Dead and who will play Lee Iacocca, Ford's top executive.
Everything starts in the early 60s when Henry Ford II, grandson of the founder of the American multinational, tried to convince Enzo Ferrari to absorb the iconic company of the 'Cavallino Rampante' and almost succeeded, but finally the Italian tycoon backed down without accepting the substantial economic offer.
What started as a business operation in the offices would continue as a fight without quarter in the circuits, especially in the French of Le Mans.
Henry Ford II began his particular crusade against Ferrari and commissioned his company's engineers to manufacture a racing model capable of overthrowing the hitherto prevailing transalpine team.
Ford GT40 © Getty Images
He did not put any kind of economic limit, his only goal was victory. This is how the Ford GT40 emerged , which premiered at Le Mans in 1964, although it failed to win that year or the next. The project was then put in the hands of Carrol Shelby, the pilot and trainer Matt Damon, who reviewed and improved all the weaknesses of the model.
In 1966 Ford finally got it: he won in the 24 Hours of Le Mans with three models entering the top positions ahead of Ferrari.
Even so, the victory was not without controversy since the oval team asked Ken Miles, the driver who was driving the number 1 vehicle and character that Christian Bale will play, to reduce the speed so that the three cars could leave together in Victory photo crossing the finish line.
The pilot obeyed but the number 2 car, driven by Bruce McLaren accelerated unexpectedly and took the race.
Bruce McLaren, 24 Hours of Le Mans © Getty Images
Ford's reign in the race lasted for three more years, until the 1969 edition. Half a century later, in 2016 Ford returned to the competition with a new GT and, although he did not get the victory in the general classification, it was the best in its category and was again ahead of Ferrari.
So the wounds are still open. Surely the tape directed by James Mangold that, for the moment, has the provisional title of Ford v. Ferrari will not help heal them.