American car designer Carroll Shelby and driver Ken Miles are battling corporate intrusion, physics laws and their own personal demons to create a futuristic Ford race car and challenge Ferrari at the 1966 Le Mans 24 Hours.
Ford v Ferrari (Le Mans ‘ 66 in the UK and elsewhere) is a 2019 American biographical drama film directed by James Mangold, written by Jez Butterworth, John-Henry Butterworth, and Jason Keller. It stars Matt Damon and Christian Bale, while in supporting roles appear Jon Bernthal, Caitriona Balfe, Tracy Letts, Josh Lucas, Noah Jupe, Remo Girone, and Ray McKinnon.
The plot follows an eccentric, ambitious group of American engineers and designers, headed by the automotive pioneer Carroll Shelby and his British partner, Ken Miles, tasked by Henry Ford II and Lee Iacocca with the task of creating the Ford GT40, a new racing car with the potential to eventually beat the perennially powerful Ferrari racing team at the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans race in France.
Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt were cast in the starring roles in the early stages of the production of the film, but those plans fell through. In February 2018, Mangold was then hired, and that summer Damon, Bale, and the rest of the cast joined. Filming started in California in July 2018 and lasted just over two months.
Ford v Ferrari had its world premiere at the Telluride Film Festival on August 30, 2019 and is scheduled to be released by 20th Century Fox in the U.S. on November 15, 2019. The film received positive reviews from critics, who lauded the sequences of performances and races.
In 1963, the Ford Motor Company approached Enzo Ferrari about a possible buy-out of Ferrari. Ferrari abruptly broke off negotiations when Enzo learned that the deal included the acquisition of Scuderia Ferrari, Ferrari’s racing team that won the Le Mans 24 Hours in 1958 and every year from 1960 to 1965.