Hollywood’s tryst with real-life rivalries

New Delhi, Oct 23 (IANS) Box office rivalries are quite common in showbiz, but Hollywood is going a step further and opening chapters of real-life rivalries etched in the history on the big screen.
These are stories of competition that created ways to change specific industries, made people step up and put an extra effort, and also created a buzz. Such stories have turned into legends, and continue to live on. Credit goes to Hollywood for roping in big names to take them to a wide audience.
Christian Bale and Matt Damon will soon be seen bringing alive a great track rivalry on the screen in “Ford v Ferrari”. The film is set against the backdrop of the battle between automobile makers Ford and Ferrari in the 1960 as they fought it out to get the top crown at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
The James Mangold entertainer, scheduled for a mid-November release in India, follows teams of engineers and designers led by visionary Carroll Shelby (Damon) and his British driver Ken Miles (Bale) to explore themes like male bonding and rivalry, as the designers from Ford try to build a race car that can beat the legendary Ferrari. The effort transformed the whole world of racing.
“It’s about friendship. It’s about people who work together and the kind of bonds you make making things together. The way I connected with it wasn’t really through racing. I felt something similar to what we feel making movies. Every movie is live or die. Every movie feels like you’ll be destroyed if it doesn’t work out. Every movie is a fight for the money. You’re always fighting and yelling for the space to create,” Mangold told variety.com while explaining how he looks at the movie.
Hollywood’s affair with true stories around historic rivalry will continue with the Benedict Cumberbatch and Michael Shannon-starrer “The Current War”, which navigates the story of three visionaries indulged in a battle that lit up the world. “The Current War” is scheduled to release next month in India.
The Alfonso Gomez-Rejon film recreates a battle of technology and ideas by pitting Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse as rivals. Cumberbatch will be seen as Edison and Michael Shannon as Westinghouse.
Gomez-Rejon says he didn’t want the film to feel like a piece of history but strived to give it a contemporary relevance.
“I didn’t want it to feel like a movie about the past. It’s a movie about the future and the struggle to get there. You have to humanize them, so you see yourself in both Edison and Westinghouse. You have to see their dark sides, the ambition and ego and humility — this question about how far not only would they go to be remembered and to win,” Gomez-Rejon told deadline.com.
Margot Robbie and Saoirse Ronan’s “Mary: Queen Of Scots”, popular series “Feud: Bette And Joan”, and Chris Hemsworth’s sports drama “Rush” are some of the other examples. Not to forget the classic “Ali” about the fight between Muhammad Ali and rival Sonny Liston.
The true stories make for a great subject as they delve into myriad emotions ranging from the journey of scaling heights, the passion, drama and action — sending out a message that dreams do come true while staying true to a larger-than-life canvas.
“Where I really related to both guys, but particularly to Shelby was in this idea of cooperating with other people, collaborating with other people to make something that really matters to you. That’s what we’ve all been doing for our entire adult lives and Christian’s entire childhood even� The thing isn’t as important as the passion is relatable to me and to us,” Damon told people.com while talking about the themes that drive real-life stories.
Moving away from real life, pitting superheroes like Batman, Superman, Iron Man and Captain America with “Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice” and “Captain America: Civil War” also turned out to be a successful move for Hollywood studios.
It’s time to witness the clash of the titans. Are you ready for it?

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