ROME – Michael Mann and L.A.-based Cecchi Gori Media are in final development stages on their long-gestating “Ferrari” biopic, about Italian automotive mogul Enzo Ferrari, which Mann is set to direct.
Mann and CGM chief exec Niels Juul are eying a 2016 shooting date for the extensively researched pic, based on Brock Yates’ 1991 book “Enzo Ferrari: The Man, the Cars, the Races,” about the man who redefined the high-powered Italian sports car and almost single-handedly created Formula One racing.
Mann has now merged two scripts, one by Troy Kennedy Martin (“The Italian Job”) and the other by David Rayfield (“Out of Africa”), both based on Yates’ book.
“We are talking to financiers and have some early commitments,” said Juul.
Juul just returned from the Taiwan set of Martin Scorsese’s “Silence,” on which he is an executive producer. Italian producer Vittorio Cecchi Gori is a producer on “Silence,” another long-gestating pic originated by Cecchi Gori’s small but well-run U.S. outpost.
Juul pointed out that Mann’s Ferrari project, at one point reportedly set up at Fox, has no links whatsoever with another purported Enzo Ferrari film, recently announced in the Italian press with Robert De Niro reportedly in the lead role and Gianni Bozzacchi, the onetime personal photographer to Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, producing.
The Cecchi Gori pic was originally scheduled to happen in 2004 with Sydney Pollack directing and Al Pacino in the lead, but it didn’t come together and Pollack died in 2008.
“Mann is very passionate about this project and people are interested,” enthused Juul, noting that they now have a finished script based on Ferrari’s official biography. Juul added that he will also be shopping “Ferrari” during the upcoming Cannes film market.
“Ferrari” going into production would rep further indication, after “Silence,” that, following complicated legal and financial woes, Vittorio Cecchi Gori, Italy’s onetime top movie mogul, is back in business on a much smaller scale with select high-profile pics.