Christian Bale exits Enzo Ferrari biopic over weight gain worries

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Christian Bale’s ability to shape-shift his body into whatever a role requires from him is legendary. He (in)famously turned himself into an walking skeleton for The Machinist (so skinny that his ass literally fell off) before becoming a mountain of man-muscle for Batman Begins just 6 months later. That is just one of the many startling physical trasnformations he’s undergone (even adding a hilarious combover to his pot belly in American Hustle), but as any medical practitioner worth the paper their qualifications is printed on will tell you: that type of extreme weight yo-yo is most definitely not good for your health.

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And it seems that Bale’s chameleon-like body has finally realized the same thing, as Deadline reports that the Oscar-winning actor has exited Michael Mann’s long gestating Enzo Ferrari biopic just months before it was supposed to start shooting. And that’s actually the problem, as Bale believes that the film’s Spring (in our case Autumn) production start date just will not leave him enough time to go from the reasonably skinny physique he most recently sported in The Big Short to the weight he needs to play Ferrari. At least not safely, because despite what years of evidence has shown us, Christian Bale is in fact not insane.

Mann, the four-time Oscar winning director of such classics like Heat, The Last of the Mohicans, The Insider and Collateral, has been trying to get this film about the the founder of the famous Italian sports car brand made for 15 years now, and had a pretty lengthy search before he eventually found his lead actor in Bale. And now he needs to do it all over again in way less time. Deadline reports that Mann is already scrambling to find a replacement and is reportedly speaking to some (pun not intended) heavyweight actors. Noomi Rapace is still attached to play Laura Dominica, Ferrari’s wife.

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This still officially untitled biopic is actually a combination of two different scripts, one written by Troy Kennedy-Martin (The Italian Job, Edge of Darkness), and another coming from co-writer David Rayfiel (The Firm) with a draft by Mann himself. Both scripts though are based on Brock Yates biographical book Enzo Ferrari, The Man, The Cars, The Races and “takes place in one pivotal year, 1957” and is described as “the highly personal account of Ferrari faced with a convergence of dilemmas at a critical time”. Here’s the official synopsis for Yates’ book:

To his legion of admirers, Italian auto titan Enzo Ferrari (1898-1988) was a genius who personally created marvelous cars of advanced design. But as Car and Driver columnist Yates points out in this captivating, demythologizing biography, none of Ferrari’s racing cars “was a glittering example of daring technology,” and he had almost no hand in the making of the later road cars that bore his name. Revealed as a hot-tempered megalomaniac given to loud belching and countless amorous conquests, Ferrari fathered an illegitimate child and led a shadowy second life as a respite from the “simmering hatred” of his marriage. He portrayed himself as a loyal “motorized knight-errant,” defending Italy’s national honor, but in Yates’s esimate he was interested solely in winning races and sometimes pushed his drivers to dangerous extremes. Yates deftly records the carnage of major races, business wheeling and dealing, and the political dimensions of motor racing from the pre-WW II Rome-Berlin Axis to today’s ribbon-waving nationalism.

Last Updated: January 18, 2016

Kervyn Cloete

A man of many passions - but very little sleep - I've been geeking out over movies, video games, comics, books, anime, TV series and lemon meringues as far back as I can remember. So show up for the geeky insight, stay for the delicious pastries.

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