Monday, February 6, 2012

Will “Rush” Bring the 70s Back to Monza?

Today I discovered that shooting has already begun on the movie “Rush” in Europe. For those of you Formula 1 enthusiasts who have been living under a rock, “Rush” tells the story of the 1976 Formula 1 season with particular emphasis being placed upon the rivalry between Niki Lauda and James Hunt.

Although Lauda’s time as a driver with Ferrari was over before I was even born, I still have great respect for the triple World Champion who overcame early financial struggles in his career and nearly died in a horrific crash before taking his place amongst the Formula 1 legends. I went through a phase where I would catch a glimpse of him, wearing his trademark Parmalat hat, at almost every Grand Prix that I went to. Actually, come to think of it, I haven’t noticed him wearing that hat in ages. Perhaps he had a falling out with the Italian milk industry! Niki is after all well-known in the Formula 1 paddock for bluntly speaking his mind. In fact, there was a time when I would eagerly anticipate the now 62 year-old’s reaction to every contentious issue within the sport. The most amusing example that I can recall came in August last year when he was asked what he thought about Michael Schumacher’s comeback. The outspoken Austrian stated in an interview with Germany’s Bild magazine “He has kept saying that he needs more time, blah blah blah, and he presents himself as the relaxed guy who’s really enjoying it-but inside he’s not relaxed at all, because no top racing driver enjoys being beaten. If he really were as relaxed as he claims to be, then Mercedes should tell him to retire.” Truly, you have got to admire Lauda’s honesty.

Anyway, that’s enough about Niki Lauda for now. Apparently the “Rush” film crew, who are under the direction of Ron Howard (responsible for such films as Apollo 13, A Beautiful Mind and The DaVinci Code), were filming at the Nurburgring in Germany late last year and according to the Oscar winning director’s twitter feed, shooting has since moved on to England. “Brands Hatch, home of 1976 British Grand Prix 1st stop on today’s tech scout.” Howard wrote in a February 1st message to his fans.

It seems plausible that the “Rush” crew may even eventually come to Italy and if Mr. Howard is looking for extras in the movie, I will happily sign up for the job. How amazing would it be to watch classic 70s race cars being driven around the Autodromo di Monza?! I am already salivating in anticipation.

Perhaps even more drool-worthy are the rumours circulating concerning the possibility of a film about 1950s Ferrari drivers Peter Collins and Mike Hawthorne. Let’s hope that the mainstream success of the recent “Senna” movie encourages others to turn more of Formula 1’s legendary stories into box office gold.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that Ron Howard decides to film some of "Rush"'s scenes in my backyard and Ron, if you're reading this…call me!

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