‘Ferrari’: Cast, Plot, Filming Details, and Everything We Know so Far About Michael Mann’s Next Film

It’s been over seven years since Michael Mann was last in the director’s chair with Blackhat, and now he’s returning in a big way with the biopic Ferrari about automobile entrepreneur Enzo Ferrari. The film is easily one of the most anticipated movies of the year, due to the fact that Mann has been attempting to get this film produced since 2000.

The focus of Ferrari will be the prestigious Mille Miglia race and Ferrari’s involvement in it. The film shows the final run of this 1,000-mile open-road endurance race across Italy in 1957. The race could no longer continue after a Ferrari car, driven by Alfonso de Portago, blew a tire and crashed into the crowd. Tragically, the accident killed nine people, including five children, navigator Edmund Nelson, and Portago himself.

With an A-list cast and a celebrated director in Mann, Ferrari is more than worthy of being on your radar. Here’s everything we know about the upcoming film.

Editor’s Note: This piece was updated on July 25, 2023.


Release Date

Shailene Woodley, Adam Driver, Sarah Gadon, Penelope Cruz

Main Genre

Biography, Drama, History

When and Where Is Ferrari Being Released?

Adam Driver walking in the rain as Enzo Ferrari in Michael Mann's Ferrari
Image via NEON

Ferrari was originally produced by STX Entertainment, which became a division of ErosSTX, an Indian media company. Because of this merger, STX would no longer be a distributor, but only a production house. This left the long-gestated biopic without a home alongside the recently released Guy Ritchie film Operation Fortune: Ruse de Guerre.

In July 2023 it was announced that the indie distributor NEON, known for releasing acclaimed films such as Parasite, I Tonya, Triangle of Sadness, and The Worst Person in the World, would be distributing the film in the US.

NEON has officially scheduled the film for a wide release on December 25 (Christmas Day), 2023. The film will be opening alongside Warner Bros’ musical reimagining of The Color Purple and the George Clooney-directed sports drama The Boys in the Boat from MGM.

The film will be making its world premiere at the 80th Venice Film Festival which will take place from August 30 to September 9. The film will be premiering alongside other highly anticipated films such as Bradley Cooper‘s Maestro and David Fincher‘s The Killer.

Related:Michael Mann’s ‘Ferrari’ Begins Shooting in Italy

Is There a Trailer for Ferrari

There has not yet been a trailer released for Ferrari, but since the film was recently given a release date and will be premiering in just under two months’ time, there will likely be a teaser for the film that will be released sooner rather than later.

What Is the Plot of Ferrari?

A logline for the film says Ferrari will follow “the life of Italian driver and entrepreneur Enzo Ferrari in 1957 as he deals with family problems while also preparing for the 1957 Mille Miglia”. Ferrari follows the car entrepreneur as he battles multiple issues in both his professional and personal life. These issues include a divorce from his wife, bankruptcy, and the stress of leading a team of drivers in the Mille Miglia. It is possible that the film will show the intense legal battle that ensued after the horrific accident which caused the race to shut down forever. Ferrari was accused of manslaughter because the car that malfunctioned was of his own production. You’ll have to watch the movie to find out the fate of Ferrari. (Don’t spoil the story by Googling it!)

The story is based on a book written in 1991 by the late author and journalist Brock Yates titled Enzo Ferrari — The Man, The Cars, The Races, The Machine. Yates had a particular interest in racing as he had experience as a pit reporter for NASCAR on CBS. He was also the host of the TNN racing show American Sports Cavalcade and created the famous Cannonball Run race. For those of you not in the racing world, Cannonball Run is an unofficial and unsanctioned race beginning in New York and finishing in Los Angeles. An action comedy film of the same name was produced, which Yates also wrote.

Daniel Pemberton, who composed the film’s score, gave some details on what we can expect from Ferrari during an interview with Collider’s Steve Weintraub.

“I think the thing that’s interesting about the film is it really gets you into the madness of what motor racing is. How motor racing started and why motor racing exists is crazy. Around that period, your friends are dying all the time. The film deals with a lot of grief as much as it does racing. The film is a complex drama with some really awesome racing sequences.”

Who Stars in Ferrari?

Adam Driver as Enzo Ferrari in Michael Mann's Ferrari
Image via NEON

The main character of Enzo Ferrari will be played by Adam Driver. Driver is most recognized for playing Kylo Ren/Ben Solo, in the Star Wars sequel trilogy. He has been nominated for a wide range of awards, such as Tonys, Primetime Emmys, SAG Awards, BAFTAs, Academy Awards, and more. Michael Mann is only the latest among a long line of high-profile directors Driver has worked with, as he previously collaborated with Ridley Scott (The Last Duel, House of Gucci), Martin Scorsese (Silence), Steven Soderbergh (Logan Lucky), Steven Spielberg (Lincoln), Clint Eastwood (J. Edgar), Joel and Ethan Coen (Inside Llewyn Davis), and Spike Lee (BlacKkKlansman). As talented as Driver may be, he wasn’t the first actor to be cast in the role. Ferrari was previously going to be played by Christian Bale and Hugh Jackman. Jackman left the project and ironically enough, Bale decided to do another movie centered on the world of automobiles titled Ford v Ferrari, where he depicts racecar driver Ken Miles. Bale dropped out of the film due to his concerns over having to gain a large amount of weight in a short period in order to play Enzo Ferrari.

Ferrari’s wife, Laura, will be played by seasoned actress Penélope Cruz. Cruz is well respected in Hollywood to the extent of being an Academy Award winner and nominee for multiple other awards, such as SAG Awards and Primetime Emmys. She is best known for films such as Vicky Christina Barcelona, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Vanilla Sky, and the musical movie Nine.

Shailene Woodley will play Lina Lardi, Ferrari’s longtime mistress. Woodley has been in the business since she was a child and gained recognition on the television show The Secret Life of the American Teenager. Woodley later broke out into superstardom playing the lead roles in the YA films Divergent, The Spectacular Now, The Fault in our Stars.

Hollywood heartthrob Patrick Dempsey has been cast as Italian race car driver Piero Taruffi. You may have seen Dempsey as Robert Phillip in Disney’s Enchanted films or playing Dr. Derek “McDreamy” Shephard on Grey’s Anatomy. Dempsey will be bringing his real-life experience to this role, as he has actually participated in auto races for many years. Other roles include Jack O’Connell (Unbroken) as British driver Peter Collins, Sarah Gadon (Enemy) as Mexican actress Linda Christian, Gabriel Leone (Dom) as the colorful character Alfonso de Portago, and Erik Haugen (Racing the Sun) as de Portago’s American navigator Edmund Nelson.

Related:Michael Mann Teases ‘Heat 2’ Is Right Around the Corner

Who Is the Creative Team Driving Ferrari?

Michael Mann walking on the set of Public Enemies
Image via Universal 

As we mentioned before, Hollywood icon and four-time Academy Award nominee, Michael Mann, will be directing this biopic. Ferrari will be the first movie he has directed in eight years, making it all the more exciting. Highlights from Mann’s career so far include Heat, Ali, Public Enemies, and Thief. Not only is he directing, but Mann also co-wrote the script with the late Troy Kennedy Martin, who also wrote The Italian Job. Impressively, Mann has written almost all of his films, excluding Collateral and Blackhat.

To add to his involvement with the picture, Mann is producing it along with a stream of others such as P.J. van Sandwijk (Thirteen Lives), Niels Juul (The Irishman), Qi Lin (Three-Body), John Lesher (Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)), Lars Sylvest (Death Sentence), Monika Bacardi (To the Bone), Thorsten Schumacher (All Quiet on the Western Front), Andrea Iervolino (The Ritual Killer), Gareth West (Unhinged), and Thomas Hayslip (Obi-Wan Kenobi).

Image by Jefferson Chacon 

Academy Award winner Erik Messerschmidt (Mank) is behind the film’s cinematography which marks his first collaboration with Mann. Another first-time collaborator of Mann’s is two-time Academy Award winner Pietro Scalia (Black Hawk Down) who will be editing the film. Academy Award nominee Daniel Pemberton (Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse) composed the film’s score and talked with Collider’s Steve Weintraub about the process of creating the entire soundtrack in the span of a week.

“Michael (Mann) just wanted help. The racing scenes weren’t working, and he just wanted to feel better.” But once he handed those sequences back to Mann, the director loved what he’d done so much he told him to “Just score the rest of the movie.”

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