×

James Mangold to Direct Ford vs. Ferrari Film as ‘Logan’ Follow-Up (EXCLUSIVE)

James Mangold has come on board to direct a project about the battle between the designers at Ford and Ferrari to create the world’s fastest racecar, Variety has learned.

Based on a true story, the film follows an eccentric, determined team of American engineers and designers, led by automotive visionary Carroll Shelby and his British driver, Ken Miles, who are dispatched by Henry Ford II with the mission of building from scratch an entirely new automobile with the potential to finally defeat the perennially dominant Ferrari at the 1966 Le Mans World Championship. The project doesn’t have a formal title, but is known internally as the “Untitled Ford vs. Ferrari Project.”

Mangold had originally been slated to make a drama about kidnapped heiress Patty Hearst, but that project was canceled in the wake of complaints by the Hearst family. The Hearsts were concerned that the film would depict Patty Hearst as an enthusiastic member of the SLA, the terrorist group that kidnapped her and which she later joined.

Both the Hearst film and the Ford and Ferrari picture are at 20th Century Fox, the studio behind Mangold’s hugely successful recent efforts, “Logan” and “The Wolverine.” It’s unclear if this will be Mangold’s next project. Mangold is also attached to direct “The Force,” an adaptation of Don Winslow’s best-selling crime thriller, for Fox.

Mangold is developing the “Untitled Ford vs. Ferrari Project” along with screenwriters Jez and John-Henry Butterworth. The brothers previously collaborated on the script for “Edge of Tomorrow” and “Fair Game.” Jez Butterworth is also an acclaimed playwright, whose credits include “Jerusalem” and “The Ferryman.” Chernin Entertainment is producing the film.

A Fox spokesperson confirmed Mangold’s attachment, but declined to discuss any possible casting. However, sources say that the director is interested in Christian Bale for the role of Ken Miles and Matt Damon for Caroll Shelby.

Fox previously had rights to the A.J. Baime book “Go Like Hell: Ford, Ferrari, and Their Battle for Speed and Glory at Le Mans,” which focuses on similar subject matter. At one point, that project attracted the interest of Michael Mann and Joseph Kosinski. However, those rights have since moved to Legendary Entertainment, which is developing the book into a TV series. Mangold’s film will use different source material.

Mangold’s credits include “Walk the Line,” “Knight and Day,” and “Cop Land.” He is represented by WME and Management 360.

More Film

  • Venice Opener

    Hirokazu Kore-eda’s 'The Truth' to Open Venice Film Festival

    Palme d’Or-winning director Hirokazu Kore-eda’s hotly anticipated new film, “The Truth,” starring Catherine Deneuve, Juliette Binoche and Ethan Hawke, will open the 76th edition of the Venice Film Festival. “The Truth,” which marks the director’s first work set outside his native Japan, will screen on Aug. 28 in competition. Kore-eda won the Palme d’Or at [...]

  • it chapter two, comic con

    Comic-Con: 4500 Gallons of Fake Blood and Everything Else to Know About 'It Chapter Two''

    Comic-Con 2019 kicked off with a stacked presentation from the director and cast of “It Chapter Two” on Wednesday, inspiring a curious amount of joy at San Diego’s Spreckles Theater in spite of the abject terror offered up by the film. The closing chapter to 2017’s record-obliterating “It,” the highest grossing R-rated horror film of [...]

  • 'Between Me and My Mind' Review:

    Film Review: Trey Anastasio in 'Between Me and My Mind'

    Trey Anastasio doesn’t look like a rock star. With his thick rimless glasses and flop of sandy red hair, you might say he resembles John Sebastian, but really, he looks like a mashup of Mike White and Jon Cryer and the filmmaker Chris Smith. He’s an appealingly ordinary shaggy-geek dude, like some guy you might [...]

  • Photo taken July 18, 2019, from

    More Than 20 Feared Dead in Arson Attack on Japan's Kyoto Animation

    UPDATED: More than 20 people are feared to have died Thursday in an arson attack on the Kyoto Animation company in Japan, shocking a nation in which extreme violence is very rare. Emergency services in Kyoto City received a call about 10:35 a.m. local time Thursday reporting an explosion on the first floor of the [...]

  • sith trooper

    Sith Trooper Revealed From 'Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker'

    “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” revealed a new storm trooper uniform Wednesday at San Diego Comic Con as part of a special exhibit celebrating the evolution of the storm trooper design. Dubbed the Sith trooper, the new uniform sports all-red armor plates with a matching red and black blaster. Also decorating the armor is [...]

  • Dunkirk

    Harry Styles Is the Perfect Prince Eric; Why He'd Rock 'Little Mermaid' Role

    Could Harry Styles be the perfect Prince Eric? One day after the announcement that the One Direction star is “in early negotiations to play the iconic ‘Little Mermaid’ role,” the internet exploded with speculation as to how he would portray the object of Ariel’s affections. “I can see lots of reasons why Harry is perfect,” [...]

  • The Lion King

    Film News Roundup: PETA Sponsors Rescued Lion in Jon Favreau's Name

    In today’s film news roundup, PETA honors Jon Favreau for “The Lion King,” “Tigers Are Not Afraid” gets a theatrical release, a Kirk Franklin biopic is in development and “The Sixth Sense” gets an anniversary showing in Philadelphia. HONOR The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is sponsoring a rescued lion to honor director [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content