Forty-four years after Steve McQueen’s “Le Mans” first launched production in 1970, the documentary about the film, “McQueen: The Man & Le Mans,” is filming at the legendary race track. Meanwhile, Content Film has made a strong start with international sales, inking several deals.
Filming began on the documentary this spring, continues in France this summer, and will conclude at the end of the summer in the U.S. Content Film has to date sold the film to the U.K. (The Works), France (Marco Polo), Italy (Iwonder), Germany, Scandinavia & Australia/New Zealand (Entertainment One), Portugal (Lusomundo), the Middle East (Salim Ramea Co.) and Yugoslavia (VIP).
“McQueen: The Man & Le Mans” presents the untold story of Steve McQueen’s quest to make the ‘ultimate racing motion picture.’ A lifetime’s dream for the actor, the reality of making the film proved to be very different after his ‘golden decade’ of films including: “Bullitt,” “The Magnificent Seven,” “The Thomas Crown Affair” and “The Great Escape.” McQueen could not predict the toll Le Mans would take: control over his personal project, his salary, friendships and ultimately, his marriage.
Chad McQueen, son of the screen icon, will retrace his father’s footsteps at Le Mans Classic as part of the filming for the documentary.
“My dad set out to make the most realistic racing film ever, and it was one of the most personally important films in his career, which is why now, more than 40 years later, I believe he would have been proud that it has become one of the greatest stories about racing ever told,” said McQueen in a statement.
Interviewees include five time Le Mans winner and former McQueen housemate, Derek Bell, Sigi Rauch, who became a close friend of McQueen’s, Jonathan Williams, driver of the camera car at Le Mans in 1970, and David Piper, who lost a leg during the original filming.
Gabriel Clarke and John McKenna are co-directing the film, with Clarke writing the project. Motor sport reporter and commentator, Andrew Marriot, who devised the original concept, will serve as executive producer alongside Barry Smith and Bonamy Grimes, with Chad McQueen, Dave Green and David Reeder serving as EPs on behalf of McQueen Racing LLC. Richard Wiseman (“Rush”) is on board as archive producer.
Since beginning, the production has discovered two previously unpublished 45-minute films shot during the making of “Le Mans,” in addition to audiotapes and unheard interviews with Steve McQueen.