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Michael Mann Looking To Direct Racing Pic, 'Go Like Hell' For 20th Century Fox

The Playlist By Edward Davis | The Playlist May 26, 2011 at 10:37AM

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So is Michael Mann going to make his "Days of Thunder" for 20th Century Fox?

The "Heat" and "Public Enemies" filmmaker — who is already attached to a slew of projects such as "Big Tuna," "Waiting For Robert Capa" and "Agincourt," to name a few — is evidently adding one more project to his plate: "Go Like Hell" (though two minutes ago, Variety was calling it "Race To The Death").

A car racing picture, the drama centers on "the true story of the competition between Ford and Ferrari in 1966, when an American car won the Le Mans for the first time." Based on the 2010 book by A.J. Baime, "Go Like Hell: Ford, Ferrari, and Their Battle for Speed and Glory at Le Mans," a synopsis for the novel is below.

By the early 1960s, the Ford Motor Company, built to bring automobile transportation to the masses, was falling behind. Young Henry Ford II, who had taken the reins of his grandfather’s company with little business experience to speak of, knew he had to do something to shake things up. Baby boomers were taking to the road in droves, looking for speed not safety, style not comfort. Meanwhile, Enzo Ferrari, whose cars epitomized style, lorded it over the European racing scene. He crafted beautiful sports cars, "science fiction on wheels," but was also called "the Assassin" because so many drivers perished while racing them.'Go Like Hell' tells the remarkable story of how Henry Ford II, with the help of a young visionary named Lee Iacocca and a former racing champion turned engineer, Carroll Shelby, concocted a scheme to reinvent the Ford company. They would enter the high-stakes world of European car racing, where an adventurous few threw safety and sanity to the wind. They would design, build, and race a car that could beat Ferrari at his own game at the most prestigious and brutal race in the world, something no American car had ever done.

'Go Like Hell' transports readers to a risk-filled, glorious time in this brilliant portrait of a rivalry between two industrialists, the cars they built, and the "pilots" who would drive them to victory, or doom.

"No one has ever successfully written a book about cars and racing that can be easily enjoyed by someone who doesn't know a thing about cars and racing," Baime said in a Q&A about the book. "My book accomplishes this. At the same time, reviewers who have studied this automotive era for decades have read the book and told me they were shocked to learn many things they didn't know. Specifically, no one has ever written about this story with such a focus on the business side: why it happened in the first place, how Henry Ford II had a vision to create the first pan-European auto company in the 1960s, selling Ford cars from London to the border of Russia. How could he prove that his American cars were the best in the world and that Europeans should buy them? By winning Le Mans. There's a whole foundation to this story that I've never seen fully explored elsewhere."

Brad Pitt has apparently been considered for the role, but nothing is concrete (and frankly, Pitt is considered for every major project, so take that with a grain of salt). [Showblitz]

This article is related to: Michael Mann


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