You have to give director James Mangold a lot of credit, not only for being able to find another project so soon after Fox pulled the plug on his Untitled Patty Hearst Project, but due to how varied his filmography has been over the past couple decades. Even though Mangold made two back-to-back Wolverine movies, the second one Logan being the more successful one, he’s decided to take a break from superheroes for a while.
Mangold has just signed on to direct an UNTITLED FORD VS FERARRI PROJECT, which will cover the battle between designers at Ford and Ferrari to create the world’s fastest racecar.
Set in 1966, Mangold’s film will follow a group of American engineers and designers led by Carroll Shelby and his British driver Ken Miles, who are assigned the task by Henry Ford II to build a brand-new car with the potential to defeat the dominant Ferrari in the upcoming Le Mans World Championship.
Mangold is developing the project with screenwriters Jez and John-Henry Butterworth, who previously wrote Edge of Tomorrow and Fair Game, both directed by Doug Liman. Jez Butterworth also wrote the stage plays Jerusalem and The Ferryman.
Apparently, Mangold is interested in Christian Bale and Matt Damon to play Miles and Shelby, although no deals or negotiations have begun.
The untitled film is also set up at 20th Century Fox, which has been Mangold’s home even before directing The Wolverine, and it will be produced by Chernin Entertainment. Magnold is also attached to direct an adaptation of Don Winslow’s The Forcx for Fox, which gives him two directions in which to go next.
Originally, it was thought the screenplay would be loosely based on A.J. Baime’s Go LIke Hell: Ford, Ferrari, and Their Battle for Speed and Glory at Le Mans, for which Fox bought the rights, with the likes of Michael Mann and Joseph Kosinski interested in directing, although those rights went to Legendary to develop for television.
Repped by WME and Management 360, Mangold already made a police drama twenty years ago with the underrated Cop Land, starring Sylvester Stallone, but this Ford vs. Ferarri movie will give him a chance to explore new territory. Although it’s a very different type of movie, it’s hard not to be reminded of Ron Howard’s Rush, starring Chris Hemsworth and Daniel Brühl as dueling racers, with the latter receiving a Golden Globe nomination.
Before making last year’s mega-hit Logan, Mangold’s career included such diverse films as 3:10 to Yuma (with Bale), Tom Cruise’s Knight and Day, the Johnny Cash movie Walk the Line and Girl, Interrupted. Reese Witherspoon and Angelina Jolie won Oscars for the latter two.
This news was first reported by Variety.
Edward Douglas | East Coast Editor