By Benjamin Wright | The Playlist September 15, 2011 at 8:25AM
For those unfamiliar with the Formula 1 racing documentary "Senna," the somewhat surprising hit takes a look at the life of Brazilian driver Ayrton Senna, who won three F1 championships before his untimely death at the age of 34. While fans of Formula 1 and cinephiles didn't seem like a natural mix, the doc has received acclaim from many outlets (including us), and become something of an international box-office hit. With the film catching many critics and audiences off guard, it was only a matter of time before those behind the film started earning some clout in the movie business. First up, is writer Manish Pandey, who's being picked by "Coriolanus" producer Julia Taylor-Stanley to write a film based around the Ferrari F1 team.
Screen Daily reports that Pandey was chosen by Stanley to develop the $60-million drama, and showers the writer in compliments such as “nobody can write about Formula 1 like Manish can." The film will be a feature, unlike Manish's previous work on the "Senna" doc, centered around the Ferrari racing team in the late '50s to early '60s, and in particular drivers Mike Hawthorn and Peter Collins. Stanley mentions in the article that, “It was a very tragic period in Ferrari’s history, and there is also a love triangle within the story.” A period setting and love triangle? It'll never work...
What's also worth noting about Stanley's excitement over the project is that she states they are "already talking to an A-list director." So we can pretty much rule out Ron Howard, who is currently concocting his own Formula 1 picture, "Rush," with Chris Hemsworth, but who else would be a safe bet for a Formula 1 movie?
While this writer has yet to see "Senna," there has been barely any negative word sent in the film's direction, and the subject matter seems intriguing enough. If that movie is a telling sign of Pandey's writing talents, perhaps Stanley is completely justified in her giddiness over the hire. Now as for that A-list director she's touting, who could it be? "Senna" helmer Asif Kapadia could be a possibility, but we're not sure he qualifies as 'A-list' at this point, but undoubtedly Pandey's success likely has some bigger talents hoping to work with him.
The film is a U.K.-Italy co-production, and is set to shoot in both countries, but no word yet on when this get its engines revving.