For those of you that know my taste in film, the news of a new Michael Mann film starring Christian Bale is a million times more exciting than any piece of superhero news, so I nearly had a panic attack when I saw that Deadline reports that Bale joined Mann’s Ferrari biopic that he’s been developing for over a decade. Mann, as recently seen in his endlessly fascinating ode to humans vs. computers Blackhat, is maybe the most interesting name in digital cinema. Public Enemies (also starring Bale) was extremely divisive for people in 2009, as many felt that Mann’s digital video aesthetic which favors visceral immediacy over coherency didn’t work for a period piece – giving a layer of falseness rather than realness. I don’t agree. I wasn’t huge on Public Enemies but the few bits that did jump out to me were the gunfights, and the visceral impact Mann shoots them with, that puts you right there in the moment with his gangsters, 1930s or otherwise.
Now it’s unlikely we’re going to see gunfights in a film chronicling the rise of Ferrari but what we are bound to see are some of the most fascinating race sequences in recent memory. I’m imagining something like Rush, but with all of Mann’s skills, sensibilities and… Mann-erisms. And now there is nothing else I want in the entire world. There’s little-to-no info on the film at the moment other than it’s focus going to take place in the 1950s (which means I’ve got to gear up for all the digital Mann haters once again) and focus on Enzo Ferrari, duh. Apparently principal photography on this picture starts next summer though, so until then I’ll have to make do with just imagining how Mann will go about dressing up/dissecting engines and existentially relating them to the human experience.
What do you guys make of this?