By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist October 4, 2011 at 7:56AM
As Ron Howard's racing drama "Rush" begins moving into first gear, some more names are boarding the movie in what looks to be a pretty solid roster of talent.
The film stars Chris Hemsworth and Daniel Brühl in the Peter Morgan-penned story that centers on Austrian Niki Lauda’s (Brühl) rivalry with English racer James Hunt (Hemsworth). In 1976, Lauda nearly died when his Ferrari swerved off the track in only the second lap of the German Grand Prix and crashed, causing him to lapse into a coma and lose his right ear—Hunt won the race. Six weeks later, Lauda was back behind the wheel chasing Hunt at the Italian Grand Prix and followed him to the Canadian and U.S. Grand Prix as well. Hunt would finally earn enough points during 1976 to take the World Driver’s Championship title away from Lauda. Screen Daily reports that the seemingly always busy Olivia Wilde has joined the movie playing model Suzy Miller, who fell in love with and married the notoriously womanizing Hunt. But here's the twist -- Miller soon found her eye wandering toward a friend of her husband's, none other than legendary actor Richard Burton. And Howard has someone very special in mind for that part.
While it's not official yet, and likely contingent on scheduling, Howard wants his "A Beautiful Mind" and "Cinderella Man" star Russell Crowe to play Richard Burton. We get why Howard wants to go with a name. You need someone who can convincingly play a larger than life icon and carry the presence that comes with it, and Crowe more than fits the bill. Burton would end up marrying Miller, who wound up divorcing Hunt. The part is said to be small so we figure that unless there are some "Les Miserables" commitments he can't get out of, Crowe will stop by for "Rush."
The cast is rounded out by “Downfall” and “The Reader” star Alexandra Maria Lara. Filming is expected to get underway later this fall. No release date has been set just yet.