The Ford v. Ferrari Movie Will Be Hollywood’s Take on the Epic Rivalry

Car Culture 63 June 1, 2019 by

Racing films are few and far between. But car enthusiasts will get to see one of the most famous stories in the automotive world play out on the silver screen this autumn when Ford v. Ferrari lands in theaters.

A quick recap: back in the early ‘60s, Henry Ford II wanted the Blue Oval in motorsports. He determined that acquiring a successful company would be the best way to do it, and set his sights on Ferrari. Enzo went along with the plan until the 11th hour, when he realized he’d be losing sole control of the racing side of the business. Enraged, Ford told his team to beat il Commendatore on his home turf at Le Mans.

And beat Ferrari it did. Ford brought the GT40 to La Sarthe and won not one year, but four, putting an end to Ferrari’s reign.

Now Fox is turning the epic grudge match into a movie. Ford v. Ferrari releases November 15, and we’ve now got a look at its first — very period-appropriate — poster:

Ford v. Ferrari will star Christian Bale and Matt Damon as Ken Miles and Carroll Shelby, respectively. The movie will revolve around the fateful 1966 Le Mans race, following Miles and Shelby’s uphill battle with not only the dominant Ferraris, but Ford itself. “This is David vs. Goliath vs. Goliath,” Bale told Entertainment Weekly in a recent interview, “you’ve got the industrial Goliath with Ford and the charismatic Goliath of reputation with Ferrari, and then this true story of the triumph of the misfits.”

The 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans was fraught with controversy after Ford’s staged 1-2-3 finish. The No. 1 car of Miles and Denny Hulme had been leading for much of the tail-end of the race, but the pit crew had told them to slow down to let the second-place No. 2 car of Bruce McLaren and Chris Amon catch up. Miles slowed down, enabling that iconic finish-line photo, though it robbed him of the win. The stewards ruled that, as the McLaren/Amon car had started behind the Miles/Hulme GT40, it had covered more distance, and was thus the winner.

Miles would never get the chance to win Le Mans again, as an unfortunate crash two months later — while testing the next evolution of the GT40 — killed him.

Ford v. Ferrari will also star Jon Bernthal as Lee Iacocca and Alex Gurney as his father Dan Gurney. James Mangold (of Logan fame) directs, and the movie will feature a soundtrack from Marco Beltrami. It arrives in theaters starting November 15, and we’ll get our first look at a trailer this Sunday during Game Two of the NBA Finals. (Go Raptors!)

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