Ford vs. Ferrari Will Rev Your Engine

16 September 2019
Cars, Movie, Ford Vs Ferrari, Matt Damon, Christian Bale
Image: 20th Century Fox

Chronicling one of the greatest racing rivalries of all time

If there's anything that films like Senna and Rush taught us, it's that old-school motor racing, when taken out of the era of grainy black-and-white footage and into the realm of modern movie-making, generally looks pretty cool.

Now, for the first time, the era of 1960s Sports Car racing, along with perhaps the most iconic story to arise from it, is set to be brought to life in Ford vs. Ferrari.

For those unfamiliar with the story, Enzo Ferrari, the founder of the legendary Italian car company, was a man who made many enemies during his time. Chief among them was the Ford Motor Company, who actually tried to buy Ferrari in the early 1960s, but incensed its founder when they refused to continue giving total control of the company's race team to Enzo.

The two marques engaged in Automotive warfare for much of the decade to follow: the main battlefields taking the form of the tracks that made up the locations of the World Sportscar championship, chief among them Le Mans. And while Carroll Shelby's own Shelby Cobra initially brought the fight to the Prancing Horse in the war's early years, it was the GT40 that delivered the resounding blow.

A revolutionary sports car powered by a muscle-bound V8, the GT40, developed by Shelby (played in the film by Matt Damon) and British racing driver Ken Miles (played by Christian Bale), entered the fold in 1966, instantly bringing to an end a five-year stretch of Ferrari dominance.

Ford vs. Ferrari tells this story – one, by the way, that's already been told fantastically by The Grand Tour, but hey. Hollywood.

The film has been directed by James Mangold, who's developed a knack for shooting period drama through projects like Walk The Line and 3:10 to Yuma. He also helmed the fantastic X-Men spin-off Logan.

Already, the film is generating some serious Oscar buzz. Originally it was touted for an earlier release but was ultimately pushed back by Fox, seemingly to help it fall in a better position for an awards run. As Adam Chitwood of Collider reported after watching the film at Toronto's International Film Festival, "This is a racing drama made on an expert level, and if the performances from Bale and Damon don't put the movie square in the Oscar race, the film itself will."

The film itself seems to focus mainly on the development of the GT40, which was fraught with problems, however it also seems pretty heavy on the massive crashes, raw speed and inherent sense of danger that characterised sportscar racing at the time.

Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt were apparently initially in line to play the two main characters, but plans switched to Bale and Damon after the two abandoned the project.

Caitriona Balfe, Jon Bernthal, Josh Lucas, Noah Jupe, and Tracy Letts will also star.

Ford v. Ferrari will hit cinemas November 15.

Via GQ Australia