LONDON, March 6, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Two-time Academy Award® winner Ron Howard (A Beautiful Mind), teams once again with fellow two-time Academy Award® nominee, writer Peter Morgan (Frost/Nixon, The Queen), on Rush, a spectacular big-screen re-creation of the merciless 1970s rivalry between James Hunt and Niki Lauda, it was announced today. The film recently began principal photography and is co-financed and produced by Cross Creek Pictures and Exclusive Media, in association with Imagine Entertainment. Brian Grazer, Working Title Films and Revolution Films are also producing.
The epic action-thriller stars Chris Hemsworth (The Avengers) as the charismatic Englishman James Hunt and Daniel Bruhl (Inglourious Basterds) as the disciplined Austrian perfectionist Niki Lauda, whose clashes on the Grand Prix racetrack epitomized the contrast between these two extraordinary characters, a distinction reflected in their private lives. Also starring Olivia Wilde (TRON: Legacy) and Alexandra Maria Lara (The Reader), Rush is produced by Andrew Eaton (A Mighty Heart), Ron Howard, Academy Award® winner Brian Grazer (Apollo 13, A Beautiful Mind), Eric Fellner (Senna, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy), Peter Morgan and Brian Oliver (Black Swan) and executive produced by Cross Creek Pictures, Exclusive Media and Todd Hallowell. Universal Pictures will distribute the film in North America.
Set against the sexy, glamorous and spectacular golden age of Formula 1 racing, Rush portrays the exhilarating true story of two of the greatest rivals the world has ever witnessed — handsome English playboy James Hunt (Hemsworth) and his methodical, brilliant opponent, Niki Lauda (Bruhl). Following their personal lives on and off the track, Rush follows the two drivers as they push themselves to the breaking point of physical and psychological endurance, where there is no shortcut to victory and no margin for error. If you make one mistake, you die.
Rush will shoot on location in the UK, Germany and Austria.
"Lauda and Hunt were rock stars of the race track: two absolute pros at the top of their game, in a time when sex was safe, driving was dangerous and all bets were off," said Ron Howard. "They were also complicated, fascinating men and born rivals. Rush will be as much about that personal rivalry as it will be about the thrill of the race."
Producer Brian Oliver, President of Cross Creek Pictures, said: "Ron's gift as a director is his ability to inhabit extraordinarily complex characters and grasp their essential humanity. With Chris and Daniel as our leads, I'm confident that the compelling story of Hunt and Lauda's infamous rivalry will be told as never before."
Executive Producer Nigel Sinclair, Co-Chairman and CEO of Exclusive Media, added: With a dream team of director Ron Howard and screenwriter Peter Morgan behind the wheel — and a cast that includes some of the hottest young actors working in movies today — Rush promises to capture the true glamour, speed, sex appeal and risk of Formula 1 as it has never been seen before. It will be an adrenalin-fuelled exploration of human rivalry and emotion set against the backdrop of fashion and music in the '70s."
About Exclusive Media
Exclusive Media is a major force in the production and international distribution arena. Recent production titles include the box-office hit The Woman in Black, starring Daniel Radcliffe, and George Clooney's The Ides of March, produced by Smokehouse Pictures and co-produced by Exclusive Media with Cross Creek Pictures.
Exclusive Media's current production slate also includes End of Watch, starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Pena, Anna Kendrick and America Ferrera; So Undercover, starring Miley Cyrus; Snitch, starring Dwayne Johnson and Susan Sarandon in post-production; The Quiet Ones, to be directed by John Pogue; and Boneshaker, to be produced with Cross Creek Pictures.
Recent titles from Exclusive Media's documentary film division, Spitfire Pictures, include the Academy Award® winner Undefeated, released through The Weinstein Company, and Martin Scorsese's award-winning George Harrison: Living in The Material World, produced by Martin Scorsese, Nigel Sinclair and Olivia Harrison.
Exclusive Media is a vertically integrated global film entertainment company, founded in May 2008 with the backing of the strategic investment group Cyrte Investments. Exclusive Media develops, finances, produces, markets and distributes prestige and talent-driven commercial and documentary feature films on a global basis.
Exclusive Media is run by a five-member executive board with Nigel Sinclair as Co-Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Guy East as Co-Chairman, Simon Oakes as Vice Chairman and President of Hammer, Marc Schipper as Chief Operating Officer, and Randy Hermann as Chief Financial Officer. Supporting the executive board in both the operational management and strategic expansion of the business is a strong team of highly skilled professionals who have a broad range of complementary experience.
Exclusive Media's development and production activities operate through three specialist labels: UK-based Hammer, for genre titles; Spitfire Pictures, for documentary features; and the flagship label Exclusive Media, for all other feature film production.
Exclusive Media's international sales & distribution division maintains a strong marketing presence and represents the group's in-house productions plus its growing library of more than 550 titles, as well as actively acquiring third-party feature films to further strengthen its international distribution slate.
For further information about the company, our slate of films, library and our experienced management team, please visit www.exclusivemedia.com.
About Cross Creek Pictures
Cross Creek Pictures, formed by Timmy Thompson and Brian Oliver, is an independent film production and finance company that has a mandate of developing and strengthening the collaborative relationship between filmmakers and financiers. The firm recently inked a deal with Universal Pictures for a three-year distribution deal that will cover a minimum of six pictures produced and financed by Cross Creek Pictures.
The company fully finances its films through its private equity fund, tax incentives and international sales. The goal is to finance up to five films a year with ranging budgets. The company currently has more than 10 projects in various stages of development, including Black Mass, which Russell Gewirtz (Inside Man) is adapting from a book of the same title and tells the true story of an unholy alliance between the FBI and the Boston Irish mob led by James "Whitey" Bulger; the comedy Bathing Suits, written by Buck Henry; McQueen, a Steve McQueen biopic written by James Gray and starring Jeremy Renner; the crime drama Delivering Gen, written by Kurt Sutter; and the untitled Colin Firth and Emily Blunt project.
Cross Creek's first production, Darren Aronofsky's Black Swan, grossed approximately $330 million worldwide. The company most recently opened George Clooney's The Ides of March, which premiered to great acclaim at the Venice Film Festival and was released in October, 2011 by Sony Pictures; and The Woman in Black, starring Daniel Radcliffe, released by CBS Films.
About Revolution Films
Revolution Films is one of the UK's most respected independent production companies. Its co-chairmen are director Michael Winterbottom and producer Andrew Eaton. Recent productions include Michael Winterbottom's Trishna, starring Freida Pinto; the BAFTA award-winning The Trip, with Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon; and Fernando Meirelles' 360, starring Anthony Hopkins, Rachel Weisz and Jude Law and written by Peter Morgan. Revolution's current slate includes The King of Soho, starring Steve Coogan, Anna Friel, Tamsin Egerton and Imogen Poots, and The Longest Cocktail Party, produced with Liam Gallagher's In One Productions.
About Universal Pictures
Universal Pictures is a division of Universal Studios (www.universalstudios.com). Universal Studios is part of NBCUniversal. NBCUniversal is one of the world's leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news, and information to a global audience. NBCUniversal owns and operates a valuable portfolio of news and entertainment networks, a premier motion picture company, significant television production operations, a leading television stations group and world-renowned theme parks. Comcast Corporation owns a controlling 51% interest in NBCUniversal, with GE holding a 49% stake.