After a stellar year for director James Mangold, which included Logan reeling in a trifecta of box office success, critical acclaim and an Academy Award nomination, naturally expectations are high for his next project. After flirting with a Patty Hearst film, late last year the director seemed to settle on a Ford vs Ferrari movie at 20th Century Fox.
The film would track the race for dominance between the two motor companies at the 1966 Le Mans World Championship. Now, two A-listers are reportedly circling the lead roles. Matt Damon is reportedly looking to play Mustang designer Carroll Shelby and Christian Bale is eyeing the role of his driver, Ken Miles, both of whom were under orders from Henry Ford II to build the world’s fastest car.
Neither actor has a deal in place and it’s unclear whether Mangold wants either of them in the role, but the prospect of Damon and Bale teaming up is rather enticing. Bale was actually in line to star in Mangold’s adaptation of The Deep Blue Good-Bye a few years back, before injuring his leg before filming began, forcing him to drop out, and the project was eventually scrapped.
However, it isn’t clear if the Ford/Ferrari project will in fact be Mangold’s next film, as he also has another film vying for his attention. He’s been attached to direct the adaptation of Don Winslow‘s novel The Force for a while now, and Deadline notes that he’s bringing in his Logan co-writer Scott Frank to rewrite the script.
The previous draft of the police corruption drama was by David Mamet, but Frank is known as a ‘closer’ in Hollywood, someone that can get a script in shape for production. So it’s possible The Force ends up being Mangold’s next film if there isn’t much movement on Ford vs Ferrari. It’s more likely that Mangold is developing both, and whichever gets the greenlight first will be his next film.