The Man Behind The Legend seeks to tell the story of Italy's other great automaker
By PH Staff / Thursday, 3 November 2022 / Loading comments
Car fans are typically (and somewhat curiously) an underworked audience in cinematic terms. Sure, there have been some humdingers over the years, mostly in the motorsport genre – and plenty of films featuring stellar car-based sequences – but Hollywood is only rarely inclined to tell the human stories behind the industry, despite no lack of characters to choose from. Ford vs Ferrari, a film blessed with both acting talent and abundant funding, is obviously a break from that tradition, and while it was by no stretch of the imagination perfect (or historically accurate) it does seem to have provoked imitation.
Most notably in the form of ‘Lamborghini: The Man Behind The Legend’ a film that has been languishing on the backburner for years, but is now suddenly due for release on Nov 18th. Now, assessing quality based on a two-minute trailer isn’t terribly fair, but we’re probably not risking our necks by suggesting that Frank Grillo – in the role of Ferruccio Lamborghini – is no Christian Bale. And while director Robert Moresco is a confirmed Academy Award winner (for co-writing Crash with Paul Haggis) it’s probably fair to say he hasn’t taken Hollywood by creative storm since then.
Nevertheless, we’re going to ignore the cod accents and ample evidence of the dramatic tension being overly reliant on Gabriel Byrne winking, and hope for the best here because there’s absolutely no question that the Lamborghini story is one worth telling. The man was one of those extraordinary multi-faceted entrepreneurs who emerged in Europe after the Second World War, and his grouchy relationship with Enzo Ferrari is a matter of historical record. Whether we’ll get a proper warts-and-all tale remains to be seen, but evidently the film builds toward the launch of the Countach in 1974.
For lovers of irony, there’s a fair chance that the film of Lamborghini’s life will be overshadowed in time by the film of Enzo’s life. Michael Mann (the mastermind behind ‘Heat’ among others) has been nursing a biopic through development hell for more than twenty years, and is at last filming ‘Ferrari’ in Italy as we speak with Adam Driver wearing the sunglasses. Based on Mann’s impressive track record and the money required to cast a white-hot A-lister in the lead role, we’re going to go out on a limb and say that might end up being the biopic we’ve all been waiting for. But Lamboghini and Grillo go first.
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