A couple of months back in the November 2011 issue of Top Gear magazine, we caught up with screenwriter Peter Morgan on his highly anticipated upcoming Formula One movie, Rush.
Directed by Ron Howard (A Beautiful Mind, Frost/Nixon, Richie Cunningham in Happy Days) and scripted by Morgan (The Queen, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, The Damned United), the film will cover the legendary 1976 tussle between James Hunt and Niki Lauda.
And it appears filming has begun, as these sneak pics snapped at the Nürburgring will testify: lots of mid-70s F1 car glamour. They don't make ‘em like they used to.
But this is no balls-out racing film. Morgan assured TG's Jason Barlow that in fact, the film "will be about the people involved rather than the sport itself". "It's about two human beings", Morgan noted, a line that brought a smile to Bernie Ecclestone.
But what a pair of human beings. Brit hero James Hunt, legendary philanderer and F1 rock star par excellence who found his way into McLaren, versus supernatural Austrian racer Niki Lauda, a man who in 1975 managed to set the first sub-seven minute lap around the ‘Ring.
And then there's that crash in 1976 - the crash which nearly took Lauda's life. At the German GP at the Nürburgring, the Austrian crashed on the fast left before Bergwerk with broken rear suspension, rolled back into the path of Brett Lunger's car, and exploded. No doubt Ron Howard's depiction of this in his film, set for an autumn 2012 release, will be a key talking point.
Senna, and now Rush. We really are being spoiled.