No rushing in with 'Rush' for Niki Lauda

By Ubaid Parkar, 8 November 2012
"Nice pic from Niki's visit to Rush set last week. 2 Laudas" © Ron Howard on Twitter

Perhaps the best tale to be told about Formula 1 is the dramatic and thrilling season that unfolded in 1976, and the aptly-titled Hollywood-production ‘Rush’ is set to relive that action late next year.

Directed by Oscar winning filmmaker Ron Howard, best known for ‘A Beautiful Mind’, ‘Frost/Nixon’ and the gripping ‘Apollo 13’, the motion picture encapsulating the battle for the title is much awaited by a swarm of fans who have been starved for a pertinent movie about F1 since John Frankenheimer’s ‘Grand Prix’ in 1966.

Chris Hemsworth, of ‘Thor’ fame, is playing the role of the cavorting and carefree James Hunt, who led a playboy lifestyle during his career in F1, while Daniel Bruhl, from ‘Inglourious Basterds’, provides the antonym to Hunt’s character in Niki Lauda.

“I have been at the last shooting in Cologne. It’s coming very well,” Lauda, a three time world champion, told in an exclusive chat discussing the project. “They showed it to some people already. They tested it and it looks very good.”

Lauda nearly lost his life that season after a bloodcurdling crash at the 14-mile Green Hell called the Nurburgring, the scars of which he still carries today.

The incident opened up the championship for rival Hunt but Lauda, who had been read his last rites shortly after the fiery accident, returned bleeding through his bandages a month and a half later with the clash between the two going down to the wire.

Now 63 and recently appointed as the non-executive chairman of the Mercedes F1 team, Lauda has been instrumental in providing inputs about the season which played out 36 years ago.

“This was only my part; to tell Peter Morgan, who is the writer of the movie, the questions (that were concerned) about the old days. I told him what happened and then he wrote the movie,” said the Austrian in his usual straightforward manner.

Shot in U.K., Germany and Austria, filming wrapped up a few months ago but post-production intricacies have delayed a potential early release.

“It takes time. They just finished the shooting. Now they have to cut it and put the music on. It’s a very big job to finish it,” Lauda said referring to the complicated process that emerged for the filmmakers due to the efforts required in the sound department.

Daniel Bruhl with Ron Howard ©

“I think it’s going to be finished in June. But then Universal Pictures took over and they want to present it in September or October.”

‘Rush’ was announced for a September 2013 release with the former Ferrari and McLaren driver himself keen to find out how it goes down with movie critics and fans of the sport.

“It’s pretty simple because the outcome is the most important,” said Lauda dismissing that the movie would elevate him to a celebrity status on a different platform. “So we’ll wait for everyone else to see what the reception will be from the people who are looking at it.

“And if they are happy, the public, then I am happy. But until then I’ll have to wait,” he smiled.


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