A young rising F1 star can't escape the mob.
The race car driver turned getaway driver is an occasional Hollywood trope. We last saw it in the excellent Netflix movie Wheelman, which starred an E46 generation BMW 3 Series sedan with an M3 engine swap. Before that, 2011's Drive starred Ryan Gosling as an aspiring race car driver. Formula 1 based movies date back to the 1960s with Grand Prix, but the most recent was Rush, charting the rivalry between James Hunt and Niki Lauda in the 1976 racing season. It was just a matter of time before Hollywood put one plus one together and came up with two.
A new fictional crime movie set in the world of Formula 1 is in the works called The Formula, starring old-school movie star Robert De Niro and new blood, John Boyega.
"It's the story of a young man from Detroit who becomes an international racing star in the world of Formula 1 under the tutelage of his mentor with old mob ties," is the wonderfully absurd pitch by producer Gerard McMurray via Instagram. It looks the plot will involve Boyega's character being forced into working as a getaway driver for the mafia under threat of harm to his family.
The movie is a joint effort between his company, Buppie Productions, Tribeca Films, and Netflix. Producers include De Niro himself and his associates Berry Welsh and Jane Rosenthal, who have a deal with Netflix and were behind the recent long-winded gangster movie, The Irishman.
Boyega is a British-Nigerian actor who shot to fame with his role as Finn in the recent Star Wars trilogy. However, this isn't his first crime-based movie based in Detroit. The actor starred in 2017's period crime drama Detroit, based around the 1967 confrontations between black residents and the Detroit Police Department. It's a heavy movie, but it also shows us Boyega has chops with an American accent.
The Formula is geared up to be a much lighter, mainstream movie. We're not banking the Formula One link being more than a passing plot point, but we hope it builds on the new bar recently set for action movie car chases by Baby Driver.