HOLLYWOOD -- The new film "Ford v Ferrari" shines a light on a great American car racing story. Director James Mangold knew he'd have no problem getting gearheads and racing enthusiasts excited for the film; but this movie has much wider appeal. The film held its Hollywood premiere on Monday, Nov. 4.
"I knew we'd have the car people," said Mangold. "One way or the other, you'd show up. The other people are who I'm after."
The movie tells the true story of how Ford Motor Company needed a wily racing pro to go after Ferrari in the 1960s and win the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race. The racer they tapped was the late Carroll Shelby, played by Matt Damon.
"I read the script and I just absolutely fell in love with it. And I felt if it attracted me that way, hopefully movie-goers would feel the same. So you don't have to be completely like you," said Damon, referring to the period style racing jacket ABC7 reporter Dave Kunz wore to the premiere. "I mean for people like you it works, but for people like your wife it'll work too."
Heroes need co-heroes, and Shelby's was a British racing driver named Ken Miles. Oscar winner Christian Bale studied up on Miles for the film, even spending time with the late racer's son Peter Miles.
"Ken was just a fascinating live wire. You know, a hot head, but somebody who was absolutely a phenomenal driver. But an incredible mechanic as well, who could build a car from the ground up," said Bale.
This movie should appeal to car and racing enthusiasts. But it should also appeal to people who've never seen one lap of an auto race, as it's just a good human story. "Ford v Ferrari" opens on Nov. 15.
Matt Damon, Christian Bale bring the real story 'Ford v Ferrari' to life