Ford v Ferrari

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Ford v Ferrari
Ford v. Ferrari (2019 film poster).png
Teaser poster
Directed byJames Mangold
Produced by
Written by
Music byMarco Beltrami
CinematographyPhedon Papamichael
Edited by
Distributed byWalt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Release date
  • August 30, 2019 (2019-08-30) (Telluride)
  • November 15, 2019 (2019-11-15) (United States)
Running time
152 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
Budget$97.6 million[2]

Ford v Ferrari (titled Le Mans '66 in the UK and other territories)[3] is a 2019 American biographical drama film directed by James Mangold, and written by Jez Butterworth, John-Henry Butterworth and Jason Keller. It stars Matt Damon and Christian Bale, while Caitriona Balfe, Jon Bernthal, Tracy Letts, Josh Lucas, Noah Jupe, Remo Girone and Ray McKinnon appear in supporting roles.

The plot 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 and Lee Iacocca with the mission of building the Ford GT40, a new racing car with the potential to finally defeat the perennially dominant Ferrari racing team at the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans race in France. Early stages of the film featured Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt in the starring roles, but that rendition eventually fell through. Mangold was then hired in February 2018, and Damon, Bale and the rest of the cast joined that summer. Filming began in July 2018 in California and lasted a little over two months.

Ford v Ferrari had its world premiere at the Telluride Film Festival on August 30, 2019, and is scheduled to be theatrically released in the United States on November 15, 2019, by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. The film received positive reviews from critics, who lauded the performances (Particularly Bale and Letts) and racing sequences.


In 1963, Enzo Ferrari was approached by the Ford Motor Company about a possible buyout of Ferrari.[4] Talks were unilaterally cut off by Ferrari when Enzo realized that the deal included the purchase of Scuderia Ferrari, Ferrari's racing program that had won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1958 and every year from 1960 through 1965. Le Mans is the world's oldest active sports car endurance race, held annually since 1923. Upset at being rebuffed, Henry Ford II directed his racing division to build a car to beat Scuderia Ferrari.

The film tells how automotive designer Carroll Shelby and race car driver Ken Miles lead a team of American engineers and designers from Ford to build a race car that can beat legendary Ferrari. Ultimately, they produce the Ford GT40 for a showdown at the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans.



A film based on the rivalry between Ford and Ferrari for the dominance at the Le Mans endurance race has long been in works at 20th Century Fox. Initially, it was going to star Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt from an original screenplay by Jason Keller, but the project fell apart after a script was drafted by writers Jez Butterworth and John-Henry Butterworth and Joseph Kosinski was brought on to direct.[5][6][7] On February 5, 2018, it was announced that James Mangold had been brought on board to direct the film based on the previous script by Jason Keller, Jez Butterworth and John-Henry Butterworth.[8][9] Later on Caitriona Balfe, Jon Bernthal and Noah Jupe joined the cast alongside Christian Bale and Matt Damon in the lead roles.[10][11] In July 2018, Jack McMullen was cast in the film to play one of Miles' key British mechanics, and Tracy Letts also joined to play Henry Ford II, along with Joe Williamson.[12][13][14] In August 2018, JJ Feild was cast in the film to play the automotive engineer Roy Lunn, the head of Ford Advanced vehicles in England and the right-hand man to Henry Ford II.[15] Composer Marco Beltrami confirmed in an interview that he would be scoring the film, Beltrami having previously worked with Mangold on 3:10 to Yuma, The Wolverine and Logan.[16][17]

Filming began on July 30, 2018 and lasted for 67 days, taking place in California, New Orleans, Louisiana, Atlanta, Savannah and Statesboro, Georgia, as well as Le Mans, France.[18][19]


Ford v Ferrari premiered at the Telluride Film Festival on August 30, 2019,[20][21] and will also screen at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 9, 2019.[22] It is scheduled to be released in the United States on November 15, 2019, in 2D, IMAX 2D and Dolby Cinema by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures.[23] It was previously scheduled to be released on June 28.[24]

The first trailer for the film debuted on June 2, 2019, during Game 2 of the 2019 NBA Finals.[25]

Critical response[edit]

On review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 89% based on 45 reviews, with an average rating of 6.93/10. The website's critics consensus reads: "Ford v Ferrari delivers all the polished auto action audiences will expect – and balances it with enough gripping human drama to satisfy non-racing enthusiasts."[26] Metacritic assigned the film a weighted average score of 71 out of 100, based on 12 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[27]

Eric Kohn of IndieWire gave the film a "B", saying that "Ford v Ferrari excels at evoking the sheer thrill of the race — 'a body moving through space and time,' as one character says — and it's compelling enough in those moments to make the case that nothing beats the thrill of competition."[28] Variety's Peter DeBruge praised the racing sequences and the performances of Bale and Damon, writing: "The best sports movies aren't so much about the sport as they are the personalities, and these two go big with their performances."[29]


  1. ^ "Ford v Ferrari". TIFF. Retrieved August 25, 2019.
  2. ^ Film and Television Tax Credit Program Program 2.0 (PDF) (Report). California Film Commission. November 2018. p. 20. Retrieved July 19, 2019.
  3. ^ Shepherd, Jack (June 3, 2019). "Ford v Ferrari trailer: Christian Bale and Matt Damon star in first clip from Le Mans '66". The Independent. Retrieved June 7, 2019.
  4. ^ "Ford GT".
  5. ^ Kit, Borys (December 18, 2013). "Brad Pitt Courted to Join Tom Cruise in 'Go Like Hell' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved June 6, 2019.
  6. ^ Fleming, Mike (October 23, 2013). "Tom Cruise circles Go Like Hell". Deadline. Retrieved June 6, 2019.
  7. ^ Child, Ben (May 27, 2011). "Michael Mann set to steer racing thriller Go Like Hell". The Guardian. Retrieved June 6, 2019.
  8. ^ "Ford v. Ferrari". IMDB.
  9. ^ "James Mangold to Direct Ford vs. Ferrari Film as 'Logan' Follow-Up". Variety. Retrieved February 5, 2018.
  10. ^ "'Outlander' Star Caitriona Balfe, 'Quiet Place' Breakout Noah Jupe Join Ford vs. Ferrari Movie". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved May 23, 2018.
  11. ^ "Jon Bernthal In Talks To Play Lee Iacocca In 'Ford V Ferrari'". Deadline. Retrieved June 12, 2018.
  12. ^ Wiseman, Andreas (July 20, 2018). "'Brotherhood' & 'The Souvenir' Actor Jack McMullen Joins James Mangold's Ford Vs Ferrari Pic". Deadline. Retrieved July 24, 2018.
  13. ^ Wiseman, Andreas (July 23, 2018). "Tracy Letts To Play Henry Ford II In James Mangold's Ford Vs. Ferrari Pic". Deadline. Retrieved July 24, 2018.
  14. ^ Wiseman, Andreas (July 25, 2018). "'Here And Now' Actor Joe Williamson Joins Fox's Ford Vs. Ferrari Pic, Signs With Abrams Artists Agency". Deadline. Retrieved July 26, 2018.
  15. ^ N'Duka, Amanda (August 2, 2018). "James Mangold's Untitled Ford/Ferrari Pic Adds JJ Feild; Elizabeth Mitchell Joins 'Welcome to Pine Grove!'". Deadline. Retrieved August 3, 2018.
  16. ^ Mavity, Will. "Interview With 'A Quiet Place' Composer, Marco Beltrami". NextBestPicture. Retrieved January 12, 2019.
  17. ^ "Marco Beltrami to Score James Mangold's 'Ford v. Ferrari'". Film Music Reporter. Retrieved January 12, 2019.
  18. ^ Karthik Prasad, R.A (July 9, 2018). "Untitled Ford vs. Ferrari Movie Working Title, Filming Start Date, Location Revealed". Retrieved July 24, 2018.
  19. ^ Film and Television Tax Credit Program Program 2.0 (PDF) (Report). California Film Commission. p. 2. Retrieved July 19, 2019.
  20. ^ Hammond, Pete (August 29, 2019). "Telluride Film Festival: 'Ford V Ferrari', 'Judy', 'Motherless Brooklyn', Weinstein-Inspired Drama 'The Assistant' Among Premieres Headed To 46th Edition – Full List". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved August 29, 2019.
  21. ^ "Telluride Program Guide" (PDF). Retrieved August 29, 2019.
  22. ^ Lang, Brent (July 23, 2019). "Toronto Film Festival: 'Joker,' 'Ford v Ferrari,' 'Hustlers' Among Big Premieres". Variety. Retrieved July 23, 2019.
  23. ^ McClintock, Pamela (February 23, 2019). "'Kingsman' Prequel Moves to Next February, Ryan Reynolds' 'Free Guy' Lands Summer 2020 Release". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 23, 2019.
  24. ^ Haring, Bruce (June 23, 2018). "20th Century Fox Sets Dates For Untitled James Mangold Ferrari Project, Kenneth Branagh's 'Death On The Nile'". Deadline. Retrieved August 8, 2018.
  25. ^ Schaffstall, Katherine. "'Ford v. Ferrari' Trailer: Matt Damon, Christian Bale Team Up to Design Race Car". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved July 4, 2019.
  26. ^ "Ford v Ferrari (2019)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved September 18, 2019.
  27. ^ "Ford v Ferrari (2019)". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved September 18, 2019.
  28. ^ Eric Kohn (August 30, 2019). "'Ford v Ferrari' Review: Matt Damon and Christian Bale Power Old-School Race Car Drama". IndieWire. Penske Business Media. Retrieved August 30, 2019.
  29. ^ DeBruge, Peter (August 30, 2019). "Telluride Film Review: Christian Bale and Matt Damon in 'Ford v Ferrari'". Variety (magazine). Retrieved September 1, 2019.

External links[edit]