6 months ago
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With 76 Grand Prix victories, 112 GP podiums, 9 world championships on top of historic Tourist Trophy wins and a career in Formula 1, Mike Hailwood, Britain’s most successful motorcycle racer, is one of the country’s most storied and treasured competitors.
‘Mike the Bike’ competed at the top level of motor sports through the 1960’s and 1970’s, even launching a legendary comeback towards the latter end of the 70’s after 11 years away from the sport, where he won two more TT races, riding a two-stroke Suzuki RG 500 to victory in the Isle of Man.
Who was Mike Hailwood?
Unfortunately, he was killed in a road crash in 1981 at the age of 40, less than two years after retiring.
And now the story of one of the greatest racers of all time is being brought to the Silver Screen.
Hollywood star Eric Bana, a known motorsports enthusiast and recognisable from films such as Munich (2005) and Black Hawk Down (2001), is leading the charge to bring the story of Hailwood’s comeback to the cinema.
“I’ve been working on the screenplay for the last couple of years and it is essentially the story of Mike’s comeback, I’m not looking to tell the story of his life,” Bana said speaking on the podcast Rusty’s Garage.
“Everything you hear about him, he was just the most terrific bloke. He came from quite a privileged background as you may know but he just had this ability to be able to talk on the same level as everyone in came into contact.” “He just did things in this normal way and just loved his racing. The overwhelming thing was this great sense of humour and this just fantastic person.”
However, hopes of the film being released in the next 18 months have been dashed due to the coronavirus pandemic, with Bana determined to take advantage of the delay to work on improving the movie.
“I’ll be making the most of this time to work on the script. We need the world to be back to normal before we can start putting things together. In a perfect world we would have been looking at 2021 to make it possible but that’s impossible now.”
“I couldn’t put a timeframe on it. It doesn’t change anything about the movie, it doesn’t change the desire, it doesn’t change the film that I want to make, it doesn’t change the pitch I gave the Hailwood family.”
"A lot of these things are about timing. Putting movies together, and putting movie financing together in particular, is really about momentum and timing. And right now that doesn't exist in the film space.
"We'll pick up the pieces and do everything we possible can when this is all over."
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