Eric Bana’s Pick Up Truck Pictures and Robert Connolly’s Arenamedia have acquired rights to make a movie from the life and spectacular comeback story of Mike “The Bike” Hailwood. Once considered the greatest motorcycle racer of all time, Hailwood retired from racing bikes at his career peak in 1967 after 12 victories at the Isle of Man TT. He set out to take back his crown in 1978, aboard a Ducati.
Bana plans to star as Hailwood. He also will write a script and co-direct the film with Connolly.
Hailwood revived his career by returning to a race that is considered the most dangerous motorsports event in the world, with 151 fatalities since its inception in 1907. The high-speed race is run on public roads on the British island. Hailwood, who once interrupted his own race to pull a burning competitor out of his blazing Formula One race car and save his life, would himself die tragically at age 40 along with his daughter after a truck crashed into their vehicle as they headed to a restaurant.
“We are absolutely thrilled that Eric Bana and Robert Connolly have taken Mike’s story to adapt into a feature film about his historic ‘comeback’ race win,” said Hailwood’s widow Pauline Hailwood, and their son David. “We are delighted that Mike will be depicted by Eric Bana, an actor with an immense passion and knowledge of motorsports, Mike’s career, and a rider himself.”
Connolly directed and Bana stars in the recently completed film The Dry, adapted from the worldwide bestseller by Jane Harper. Bruna Papandrea’s Made up Stories produced it along with Bana and Connolly.
Bana’s directorial debut came on Love the Beast, which premiered at Tribeca in 2009. Connolly’s credits include the Oscar Isaac starrer Balibo and Paper Planes. The duo also collaborated on the Aussie film Romulus My Father.
Bana is represented by WME and Sloane Offer. Connolly is with UTA and Untitled Entertainment.