Neon has won the race to acquire Michael Mann‘s Ferrari starring Adam Driver as Italian racing icon Enzo Ferrari.
In a highly competitive situation, the award-winning indie distributor acquired the rights to the maestro’s latest, which is expected to premiere at the Venice Film Festival ahead of a wide release on Christmas Day.
Penelope Cruz co-stars as Laura Ferrari, and the strong supporting cast includes Shailene Woodley as Lina Lardi, Sarah Gadon as Linda Christian, Jack O’Connell as Peter Collins, and Patrick Dempsey as Piero Taruffi.
Ferrari finds Enzo, a famed ex-Formula 1 racer, mourning one son and barely acknowledging another while dealing with marital problems and another personal crisis as his company heads toward bankruptcy in the summer of 1957.
Troy Kennedy Martin (The Italian Job) adapted Brock Yates‘ book about Ferrari, who has long been a fascination for Mann. This is a passion project that he also produced via his Moto Pictures banner alongside John Lesher, as well as John Friedberg, P.J. van Sandwijk, Marie Savare, Thorsten Schumacher, Lars Sylvest, and Gareth West.
“Michael Mann, one of the most innovative and influential filmmakers in American cinema, was moved by the power of this intensely dramatic story to persist for years to bring it to the big screen. Ferrari reaffirms Neon’s continued commitment to supporting visionary auteurs who push the boundaries of cinema. Working with Michael Mann on Ferrari is a dream come true for Neon,” the company’s CEO and founder, Tom Quinn, said in a statement on Monday.
Mann is, of course, one of my own favorite filmmakers thanks to movies such as Heat, The Insider, Collateral, and Manhunter, which I recently rewatched, and was even better than I remembered. Respect must be paid to a new film from Mann, especially one starring an actor as interesting as Driver, who could use a win coming off of 65 earlier this year. This is certainly one movie that I can’t wait to see on the big screen.
CAA Media Finance brokered the deal, and Deadline broke the acquisition news.