Ferrari: Release date, cast and plot for Adam Driver movie as reviews surface

Adam Driver hits the gas for Michael Mann’s drama-fuelled new movie

Adam Driver as Enzo Ferrari in Ferrari. (Sky Cinema)
Adam Driver as Enzo Ferrari in Ferrari. (Sky Cinema) (©Sky UK Ltd)

Heat director Michael Mann is gearing up for his latest movie release, this time taking aim at one of the most iconic faces in the world of competitive racing, Enzo Ferrari.

It’s a project that’s been on the filmmakers ‘to-do’ list for quite a while, having initially circled it back in 2000 after discussions to make the film with fellow director Sydney Pollack fell apart after his 2008 death.

Pollack's version would’ve seen Al Pacino take on its famed leading role and in the years since, Mann has had many other famous faces attached to his prized Ferrari biopic as it slowly made its way into production.

Cut to 2023 and his take on Ferrari is finally in the can and will soon be speeding our way. Here’s everything we know about it so far, including its release date, plot, cast, trailers and more.

Ferrari release date

Ferrari will be released in UK cinemas on Tuesday, 26 December, and will later be available to watch on Sky and digital streamer NOW.

The film wrapped production in October 2022 and made its grand debut at the Venice International Film Festival in September 2023, a rather fitting launchpad for a film about an Italian icon.

Read more: What we know about Brad Pitt’s Formula One movie

Ferrari reviews

Adam Driver in Ferrari. (Sky Cinema)
Adam Driver in Ferrari. (Sky Cinema) (Eros Hoagland)

Following its official premiere at the Venice International Film Festival in late August, the first reviews of Mann's latest movie have started to arrive, with some calling the filmmaker's latest an "electrifying ride."

However, not everyone was completely sold. Total Film appeared to enjoy the movie and Driver's performance as the titular racing mogul but was quick to point out that something was lacking under the hood. Meanwhile, Deadline enjoyed elements but suggested that it stayed in a "low gear" throughout, while IndieWire praised Penélope Cruz's performance.

Read our full review round-up below.

Evening Standard: Michael Mann’s old banger stalls and splutters (3-min read)

The Telegraph: Adam Driver’s racing drama is an electrifying ride (3-min read)

Total Film: "Michael Mann's well-oiled biopic lacks a certain something under the hood" (3-min read)

Deadline: Michael Mann’s Intimate Portrait Of A Motoring Legend Stays In Low Gear (4-min read)

IndieWire: Penélope Cruz Steals the Wheel from Adam Driver’s Automaker in Michael Mann’s Racing Opera (6-min read)

Ferrari plot

(Eingeschränkte Rechte für bestimmte redaktionelle Kunden in Deutschland. Limited rights for specific editorial clients in Germany.) 18.02.1898 - 14.08.1988, Automobilkonstrukteur, I, - 1956  (Photo by ullstein bild via Getty Images)
Enzo Ferrari in 1956. (Getty Images) (ullstein bild Dtl. via Getty Images)

Based on author Brock Yates' 1991 biography Enzo Ferrari: The Man and the Machine, Mann’s take on this Italian sports figure’s life promises to deliver heart-pounding racing action alongside a hefty dose of drama.

According to its official synopsis, Ferrari will be battling a moment of personal and professional crisis. With his company struggling with bankruptcy and a goal to be the very best in the world of motorsport, the man behind the brand is dealing with the death of a child and the dissolution of his marriage.

All of these elements come to a head as Ferrari prepares to tackle one of the most dangerous races of all, the infamous 1,000-mile Mille Miglia. Known for its danger to drivers and spectators alike, this race came to an end in 1957 after two fatal crashes that killed numerous people.

It’s unclear whether Mann’s film will incorporate this tragic event however, during a recent interview with Variety, the filmmaker heavily hinted that it could do.

Alfonso de Portago, 24 Hours of Le Mans, Le Mans, 13 June 1954. (Photo by Bernard Cahier/Getty Images)
Alfonso de Portago at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Le Mans, 13 June 1954. (Bernard Cahier/Getty Images) (Bernard Cahier via Getty Images)

While explaining that Mann and his creative team went into extensive detail using 3D imaging to accurately recreate old Ferrari models, the piece explained that these details will be overshadowed by details of the aforementioned crash — one that ultimately killed Ferrari driver Alfonso De Portago and a number of young children.

Speaking of the way the film tackles these scenes, Mann recalled a visit to Guidizzolo before shooting took place where he met a man who witnessed the crash. “He told me he and his brother heard the engines and ran toward the road," said Mann.

"His brother was older and faster, so he was closer when the crash happened. He died, but his brother survived because he was slower.”

Variety's writer then recalls seeing the scene for himself, detailing images of "severed body parts and decapitated torsos" and calling the moment "emotionally crushing."

Ferrari cast

Penelope Cruz will star opposite Adam Driver as Ferrari's wife Laura. (Getty Images)
Penelope Cruz will star opposite Adam Driver as Ferrari's wife Laura. (Getty Images) (Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images)

Marriage Story and House of Gucci actor Adam Driver will be taking on the movie’s lead role, playing company figurehead Enzo Ferrari. However, the role wasn’t always his.

Over the years, Mann has seen a handful of would-be-Ferraris come and go, including Christian Bale and Hugh Jackman, as his movie patiently idled while waiting for a green light.

Penélope Cruz will star opposite Driver as his wife Laura, with Shailene Woodley appearing as Lina Lardi, the woman with whom Enzo has been having a long-term affair.

Shailene Woodley will play Ferrari's mistress Lina Lardi. (AFP/Getty Images)
Shailene Woodley will play Ferrari's mistress Lina Lardi. (AFP/Getty Images) (MICHAEL TRAN via Getty Images)

Enchanted star Patrick Dempsey — who frequently races in real life — will head behind the wheel on screen to play racecar driver Piero Taruffi, with Brit actor Jack O’Connell joining him as fellow racer Peter Collins.

Enemy actor Sarah Gadon will play the real-life Mexican screen star Linda Christian, and Gabriel Leone will play Spanish driver Alfonso de Portago, with Erik Haugen playing his American navigator and fellow driver, Edmund Nelson.

Ferrari trailer

Adam Driver in Ferrari. (Sky Cinema)
Adam Driver in Ferrari. (Sky Cinema)

"If you get into one of my cars, you get into me," warns a stony-faced Driver in our first glimpse at his performance as the iconic racecar boss in Ferrari.

Personal dramas flare as engines roar throughout this minimalistic yet captivating first look at Mann's new movie. The stakes rise with every gear change as we watch Ferrari cars barrel through countryside roads and the picturesque streets of Rome, all while the man behind the action appears to be juggling his own driving forces that look to be pushing his life to its limits.

Watch Ferrari's first teaser trailer below:

Ferrari will debut on Sky Cinema and NOW later this year.