German thesp Alexandra Maria Lara (“Downfall”) has landed the female lead in Ron Howard’s Formula One pic “Rush.”“Thor” star Chris Hemsworth plays Brit speedster James Hunt, while Daniel Bruhl (“Inglourious Basterds”) plays Austrian racer Niki Lauda. Peter Morgan-scripted drama follows Lauda and Hunt’s 1970s rivalry on the Formula One circuit. Lauda nearly died in a fiery crash in 1976 but returned to the track just six weeks later to race Hunt. Cross Creek Pictures is financing the pic, which Imagine’s Brian Grazer and Howard are producing alongside Working Title partners Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner and Cross Creek’s Brian Oliver. Pic does not yet have a distributor but Imagine and Working Title are based at Universal, where the film is expected to land. Lara recently played Sam Riley’s love interest in the Ian Curtis biopic “Control.” In addition to starring in “The Baader Meinhof Complex,” thesp has appeared in Francis Ford Coppola’s “Youth Without Youth,” Spike Lee’s “Miracle at St. Anna” and Stephen Daldry’s “The Reader.” Lara is repped by CAA and Tavistock Wood Management.