Michael Mann’s biopic of Ferrari founder Enzo Ferrari will need to find a new lead actor now that Christian Bale has left the high-profile project.
The Oscar-winning actor reportedly departed the biopic due to concerns about the amount of weight he’d need to gain in order to begin production by this spring. The movie is scheduled to begin filming later this year.
Originally attached to the project in August 2015, Bale will now leave Mann in search of a new star to sign in the very near future if the film is going to stay on schedule, according to Variety.
Tentatively titled Enzo Ferrari, the film is based on Brock Yates’ biographical novel Enzo Ferrari, The Man, The Cars, The Races and (according to its official synopsis) tells the story of “a passionate man and his sprawling world, at times hilarious and at the next moment devastating, as he faces a brutal challenge to his survival.”
Borin in 1898, Enzo Ferrari was a race driver and entrepreneur who founded both the famous Scuderia Ferrari Grand Prix racing team and the Ferrari automobile manufacturing company. Known as a tough taskmaster who frequently used psychological tactics to foster competition among his drivers — occasionally to the point where their drive to win resulted in deadly accidents — Ferrari was the subject of a 2003 biopic from Italian director Carlo Carlei that cast Sergio Castellitto as Enzo.
The script for the film was originally penned by The Italian Job and Edge of Darkness screenwriter Troy Kennedy-Martin, and later revised by Mann and The Firm and Three Days of the Condor screenwriter David Rayfiel.
It’s unknown whether Bale’s departure will affect the reported (but not officially confirmed) casting of Prometheus actress Noomi Rapace as Enzo Ferrari’s wife Laura Dominica. Rapace was first reported to be in talks for the role back in October 2015.