Michael Mann, renowned for creating atmospheric and gripping movies such as “Miami Vice” and “Heat,” discusses his career inspirations, mingling with drug traffickers, and the meticulous research behind his latest project, “Ferrari.”
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“Staying in one location for an extended period isn’t my style,” says Michael Mann while dining in Modena, Italy. Although he’s resided in Los Angeles for the last 50 years with his spouse, Summer, an artist, he’s made Modena his secondary residence while working on “Ferrari” in 2022. This film, detailing car magnate Enzo Ferrari’s life, has been Mann’s dream project and perhaps the reason he appears so content lately. I’ve conversed with Mann multiple times over the last ten years, and he’s seldom looked so enthusiastic. He’s been eager to produce this biographical drama, which explores Enzo’s (played by Adam Driver) personal and professional crises during a tumultuous year, since as far back as the mid-1990s.
Post-meal, Mann escorts me through a spontaneous exploration of Modena, pointing out filming locations and significant places in Enzo’s life, such as his favorite barbershop. At 80 years old, Mann is a dynamo, navigating the cobblestone streets of Modena with a hefty bag on one shoulder and a sizable binder under his arm. As he discusses “Ferrari” and his comprehensive filmography, it becomes evident why Enzo’s life fascinated him so much. The theme of self-realization is prevalent not only in his movies but also in his own life journey, which saw him go from possessing nothing to owning a Ferrari, and subsequently creating iconic films like “Heat” and “Manhunter.”
Adam Driver portrays an Iraq War veteran currently employed as a bartender. He and his sibling, Jimmy (played by Channing Tatum), hatch a plan to rob NASCAR’s Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Previously, Christian Bale and Hugh Jackman were in line to portray Enzo but Bale withdrew due to health-related concerns tied to the role’s physical demands.
Giuseppe Bonifati plays Cuoghi, one of Enzo’s closest allies and confidants.
Mann’s dad was a grocery store owner who was forced out of business by a larger chain. In their youth, Michael and his brother plotted to set the rival store ablaze.
In the original narrative, Cora Munro meets her end, and in the 1936 film adaptation, she leaps off a cliff. In Mann’s version, she survives while her sister Alice takes the fatal plunge.
The 1978 movie starring Hoffman revolves around a former criminal striving for a respectable existence but eventually reverting to a life of crime. Originally, Hoffman was slated to direct but withdrew due to his self-doubt. Ulu Grosbard replaced him.
Most U.S. critics concentrated on the film’s stylistic elements. Some praised its aesthetics, while others found it lacking in substance. Few commented on its political implications.
The commercial success of movies like “Easy Rider,” “The Graduate,” and “Bonnie and Clyde” led studios in the late 1960s and early 1970s to greenlight more youth-oriented films, often from novice directors. Many of these projects flopped, resulting in a period of retrenchment.
Roger Ebert described “Thief” as “one of the most cerebral thrillers he had ever encountered.”
Although it has gained a cult following, Mann’s WWII-themed movie was a financial disaster, plagued by multiple postproduction difficulties, including the passing of visual-effects supervisor Wally Veevers.
“The Gael,” a 1990 song by Scottish musician Dougie MacLean, serves as the film’s signature theme.
Ali lost his championship title in 1967 for refusing to serve in the Vietnam War. Upon arriving in Africa for a bout, Ali mingled with the locals, while Foreman remained secluded.
Animal rights organization PETA criticized the TV show “Luck” after the injury and subsequent euthanization of two horses during the first season. Another horse’s death led HBO and the producers to terminate the series.
In his 2022 autobiography, Milch recalls his collaboration with Mann differently, stating, “It wasn’t a joyful experience for me,” as Mann insisted on a unified voice on set.
The movie concludes with the demise of Ken Miles during a test drive, captured from a distant vantage point without elaborating on the cause of the accident.
Mann’s 2006 film had a divergent look and music from the TV series, which disheartened some fans.
Initially, Mann intended for “Miami Vice” to conclude with an expansive showdown in Ciudad del Este, Paraguay. However, due to production hiccups, the final movie ended with a less grand battle in Miami.