Content announced today that it will be handling worldwide rights to the Gabriel Clarke and John McKenna produced documentary The Man & Le Mans
at the upcoming European Film Market in Berlin. The Man & Le Mans
will be executive produced by Motorsport consultant and former PR executive Andrew Marriott, noted archive producer Richard Wiseman, and Content's Jamie Carmichael.
By 1970, Steve McQueen ruled Hollywood. Hot off the back of classics The Magnificent Seven
, The Great Escape
, The Cincinnati Kid
and The Thomas Crown Affair
, McQueen made an indelible mark as the maverick cop in Bullitt
– the movie that made car chases a staple of the movie industry. He was at the top of his game, commanding respect and wielding power; securing a six-picture deal with Cinema Center Studios which allowed McQueen to work for himself, choose his own material and reap the benefits. And at last he could make the film that had been his passion for the best part of a decade. McQueen was a racing fanatic, and his film would center around the greatest test of driving skill in the world – a 24-hour race in France called Le Mans
And so began a life-changing six months for McQueen, both on set and off it. In the middle of filming the most dangerous car race movie of all time, legendary director John Sturges quit, McQueen’s marriage fell apart and his company was on the brink of bankruptcy; and all the while he was in constant fear for his life after learning that he was on the top of Charles Manson’s ‘death list’.
The documentary film interweaves original insight and revelation with a remarkable sound archive – as well as hours of never-before-seen film that has remained, until now, untouched in a Parisian basement. The Man & Le Mans
takes the viewer inside the mind of this driven, complex movie idol as he fought to save his film – set to the soundtrack of his own voice. Ultimately, McQueen was vindicated. Today Le Mans is regarded as the ‘purest’ motor racing film every made.
Content's Jamie Carmichael said: "'Senna' meets 'Bullitt' in 'The Man & Le Mans'; its going to be an extraordinary, moving, white-knuckle drive with one of the greatest movie stars of all time, through the prism of the film that almost destroyed him."
Executive Producer Andrew Marriott, whose idea the film is based on, has covered Le Mans on more than 40 occasions. In addition, archive producer Richard Wiseman has worked on two most recent notable Formula 1 films – Ron Howard's Rush
, the first-ever history-of-Formula 1 film.
Co-directors Clarke, who is writing, and McKenna, who is also set to produce, have had their documentary The Fight of Their Lives
nominated by the British Academy (BAFTA) in the single documentary award category in 2012. Clarke and McKenna’s other notable documentaries include the Grierson nominated Clough
, and the critically acclaimed motor sport meets modern media documentary When Playboys Ruled the World
. Both are multi-award winners in UK television.
The McQueen documentary is set to begin pre-production in the spring and will then be filming in Europe at Le Mans’ 24-hour race track, concluding at the end of the summer in the US.