Adam Driver will have to brush up on his Italian if rumors of the “Star Wars” actor being picked to play the lead role in an Enzo Ferrari biopic prove true.
Deadline reported on Wednesday that Driver will play il Commendatore in the new film, instead of Hugh Jackman who was previously linked to the role. Christian Bale was also previously linked to the role.
Driver has shown tremendous range with respect to his acting. Ignoring the somewhat dry persona he portrayed in the Star Wars films, he’s delivered some impressive performances, for example in “Marriage Story” and the more recent “House of Gucci.”
According to Deadline, Penelope Cruz and Shailene Woodley are also set to star in the Ferrari biopic, playing the roles of Ferrari’s wife, Laura, and his mistress, Lina Lardi, respectively. Lardi is the mother of Ferrari’s only surviving child, Piero Ferrari.
Michael Mann, who is probably most widely recognized for his directing work in “The Last of the Mohicans” and “Heat,” is set to direct the Ferrari biopic which, after decades of planning, finally looks to start filming this year. Deadline reported that filming could start in Italy this May.
Although there have been Ferrari biopics before, most notably the 2003 Italian film “Ferrari,” this new film has been a Hollywood dream pretty much since Ferrari’s death in 1988—and possibly even before that. For a long time, it was set to be a passion project of director Sydney Pollack, but the director passed away before that could come to be. Now it’s in the hands of Mann.
The film is expected to focus on Ferrari’s life during the highly difficult year of 1957. We say it was difficult, but that’s an understatement. That year saw a Ferrari 335S race car lose a tire during the Mille Miglia. The car careened into a crowd where it killed both the driver, co-driver and nine spectators. Ferrari and his company, which almost went bankrupt, were put on trial for manslaughter but the case was ultimately dismissed.
Note, this is a separate film to the one linked to Robert De Niro, which was said to portray Ferrari in his later life. It isn’t clear if the De Niro film is still going ahead.