Michael Mann’s next movie has started creating a good amount of excitement after Deadline revealed just a few days back that Christian Bale would be coming on board. Bale can sell a movie on his own name, we all know that, but there is a bit more about the next Mann project which catches our attention. The movie titled Ferrari is a biopic on the Italian racer and auto mogul Enzo Ferrari. This project has been long-in-the-works and now Michael Mann seems to have finally found the wheels to get this film moving in the form of Christian Bale who would be playing the lead character.
Ferrari is the kind of project that we want to see Michael Mann pick up. It has a lot of potential – to entertain, to pick awards, to turn into a classic. By bringing in Bale, Michael Mann can now scale the movie to greater heights, and anything less than spectacular would be a disappointment. It’s been a while since we have seen a great film by Michael Mann. The last one to win accolades was Collateral, back in 2004. The list of movies prior to Collateral goes something like this, Ali, The Insider, Heat and The Last of the Mohicans. Wow! But things after that never really took off; in fact, the quality seems to be getting only worse which makes us forget that Michael Mann is the director who once got Al Pacino and Robert de Niro on screen together to create something magical!
After the success of Collateral, Michael Mann once more tied-up with Jamie Foxx for the 2006 film Miami Vice which also starred Colin Farrell. Undercover cops fighting drug trafficking might make for some interesting television, but there was nothing special in it as a feature film. It was surprisingly a big budget film with $135 million allocated to it, but it tanked badly at the box-office. Three years later, Michael Mann got together a mind-blowing combination on screen with Christian Bale and Johnny Depp in Public Enemies; maybe an attempt to recreate the glorious cop – criminal drama of Heat. Eh well, Public Enemies was a disappointment, another flop at the box-office, doing justice to neither of the talented actors.
The worst was left for 2015. After a six-year gap, Michael Mann’s next movie Blackhat with Chris Hemsworth in the lead role released earlier this year. An action thriller, the movie got panned by critics, and has turned into one of the biggest flops of the year earning only $18 million globally as against a production budget of $70 million. So coming on the back of three flops, each one supposed to be a high intensity fast-paced action film, Michael Mann’s decision to move to an action-less biopic might be a welcome one. Ferrari is also some sort of a passion project for the director, and so I am hoping that his commitment towards the movie would be at a greater level.
It feels good when actors or directors whom you admired for their past works but have become a shadow of their former selves find their way back into the limelight. If Michael Mann could bring Ferrari into the list of his previous elite movies, it would be nothing short of terrific, and also a sort of statement that the genius in him has not been buried. Shooting for Ferrari is expected to begin next year, and it could even be slated for a late 2016 release if it has to be an Oscar contender. Fingers crossed!