Michael Mann is familiar with creating films centered around historical figures. However, the director has little inclination for traditional biopics that chronicle a subject’s entire life.
During a conversation with The Guardian about his enduring endeavor to bring Ferrari to fruition, Mann clarified that he never contemplated helming a movie depicting the comprehensive life story of Enzo Ferrari. Rather, his film focuses on a 59-year-old Ferrari (Adam Driver) striving to salvage his racing empire amidst the collapse of his personal life.
“I wouldn’t have been interested in some lengthy biopic,” Mann said. “Those are documentaries that belong on the History Channel. They never work. And within this four-month period, all the dynamic forces of Enzo’s life are compacted and in collision.”
Mann also explained that Ferrari‘s reluctance to move beyond his hometown not only narrowed the film’s scale but also heightened the pressure on the filmmaking team to capture every detail.
“Everything in the movie that happened, happened within 500 meters of everything else,” he said. “The barber’s shop is round the corner; the hotel Enzo went to for drinks is opposite; the opera is next door. And he never wanted to go anyplace else. He even stopped going to races and never left the country. So, you have to try and build that sense of intense compression into one neighborhood, making the location that the action is going to take place in as believable and real as possible.”
Michael Mann’s Ferrari will hit theaters on December 25, 2023.