It looks like Logan director James Mangold might have finally found the right project to follow-up his celebrated Western/Noir take on the superhero genre. Variety reports that Mangold has signed on to direct 20th Century Fox’s film about the rivalry between designers at Ford and Ferrari, who were determined to create the world’ fastest racecar. Mangold is developing the film along with Edge of Tomorrow screenwriters Jez and John-Henry Butterworth.
Per the report, the currently untitled film is inspired by the true story and “follows an eccentric, determined team of American engineers and designers, led by automotive visionary Carroll Shelby and his British driver, Ken Miles, who are dispatched by Henry Ford II with the mission of building from scratch an entirely new automobile with the potential to finally defeat the perennially dominant Ferrari at the 1966 Le Mans World Championship.” No casting is confirmed at this point, but Variety hears Mangold is eyeing Christian Bale for the role of Ken Miles and Matt Damon for Caroll Shelby.
Mangold was set to direct a drama based on the infamous kidnapping of heiress Patty Hearst, but the project was scrapped by Fox after Hearst released a statement expressing her disappointment with the studio for pursuing a “distorted” version of her story, she says glamorizes her torture and rape. Elle Fanning was in talks to lead the Hearst project before it fell apart.
It’s unclear where this film falls on Mangold’s schedule at this point. The filmmaker has a number of projects in the works, including an adaptation of Don Winslow‘s celebrated crime novel The Force, an adaptation of Katherine Applegate‘s children’s novel Crenshaw, about a young boy visited by an imaginary giant cat, both of which are at Fox, and an English-language remake of the thriller Disorder. Mangold’s films have always spanned the genre spectrum, including the Hugh Jackman-led romantic comedy Kate & Leopold, the Oscar-winning Johnny Cash biopic Walk the Line, and the underrated Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz two-hander Knight and Day, so it will be exciting to see where he goes next with the success of Logan behind him.
One project that may beoff the roster is the X-24 spinoff focusing on Dafne Keene’s character from Logan. In the wake of the Disney-Fox deal, reports swirled that that project is now on hold. Whatever happens with that film, the Untitled Ford vs. Ferarri Project makes it clear that the Disney-Fox deal isn’t kicking Mangold out of the Fox business.