The studios over in Hollywoodland have been trying to get a biopic of Enzo Ferrari, one of the most enigmatic men with arguably the most remarkable life story surrounding cars and racing, off the ground for years. Until now - well, hopefully.
The cameras haven’t begun rolling yet but with just the knowledge that Robert DeNiro will star in the title role to play “Il Commendatore” himself fills us with confidence. UK’s The Guardian cites a report from Italian newspaper Il Messaggero saying that 71-year old screen veteran has made an official announcement of his involvement with the project, with Clint Eastwood and team in charge of the screenplay and will possibly sit on as director as well.
The film will be centred on Enzo’s life between the years of 1945 and the 1980s, during the man, and indeed the Ferrari brand’s, most crucial formative years from racing upstart to international champions and distinguished automaker. That start of that timeline also coincides neatly with Ferrari’s transition into producing road cars to further fund its racing efforts, the first model being the 125 S of 1947.
The more we think about it, De Niro seems like the obvious (probably only) choice to play such a man. He has played characters of Italian origin or Italian descent many times on screen to critical acclaim, and his ability to portray nuanced, layered, and often volatile personas will come in handy when it comes to Ferrari’s mercurial founder. The actor had this to say about the role:
“It is an honor to tell the life of an extraordinary man who revolutionized the world of motor sport. The film will go into production soon, mostly in Italy, and has absolute priority over all my other projects.”
There's just something about cars. It's a conveyance, it's a liability, it's a tool; but it can also be a source of joy, pride, inspiration and passion. It's much like clothes versus fashion. And like the latter, the pursuit of perfection never ends.