Brian Oliver, President of Cross Creek Pictures and Guy East and Nigel Sinclair, Co-Chairmen of Exclusive Media Group ("Exclusive"), announced today that they will be co-financing director Ron Howard's Formula 1 film Rush. This marks the third collaboration between Exclusive and Cross Creek, who are also co-producing the picture with Imagine Entertainment, Working Title and Revolution Films, with Howard, Oliver, Brian Grazer, Eric Fellner, Peter Morgan and Andrew Eaton all named as producers. Nigel Sinclair, Guy East and Tobin Armbrust will executive produce. Imagine's Todd Hallowell will also Executive Produce. Chris Hemsworth (Thor) and Daniel Brühl (Inglourious Basterds) are in negotiations to star in the picture, with Alexandra Maria Lara (Downfall). The script for Rush was penned by Morgan (Frost/Nixon).
Principal photography on Rush is set to begin on September 9, 2011 in the UK and Germany. The film will be shot in and around two legendary Formula 1 tracks in Silverstone and Nürburgring.
Exclusive Films International, under East and Alex Walton, will also handle international distribution for Rush. The film is being unveiled for sales at the Toronto International Film Festival. A deal for U.S. distribution has not yet been announced.
Set against the 1970's golden age of Formula 1 racing, Rush portrays the fast-paced and exhilarating true story of two of the greatest rivalries the sport has ever witnessed - that of James Hunt (Hemsworth) and Niki Lauda (Brühl) and their illustrious Formula 1 racing teams, McLaren and Ferrari. A privileged, charismatic and handsome English playboy, Hunt could not be more different from his reserved and methodical opponent, Austrian born Lauda. Rush follows their personal lives both on and off the track and charts their rivalry from its inception in Formula 3. Here they competed viciously against each other until Lauda's business acumen and surgeon like precision behind the wheel propelled him all the way to Formula 1; eventually landing him the number one spot at Ferrari. However it was not long before rambunctious golden boy Hunt fought his way into Formula 1, and into the hearts of a nation, dramatically seizing the championship from Lauda and proving to the critics, and more importantly himself, that there was real substance beneath the stylish exterior.
"This is one of the greatest stories set in one of the world's greatest sports; add Ron Howard's singular ability to grip you with emotion, drama and thrill, and we are off to a Grand Prix race," says Sinclair. "Exclusive is thrilled to be working with the dream team of producers from Cross Creek, Imagine, Revolution Films, and Working Title and it's a privilege to get to work with Peter Morgan at long last!"
"Rush is Ron Howard's first independent picture for over 25 years and we are very proud to present him and the film to our international distribution partners" says East. "He has attracted an outstanding cast for Peter Morgan's very powerful screenplay and we feel very confident in the success of this movie."
"We are excited to continue our successful partnership with Nigel and Guy and the team at Exclusive," said Oliver. "They are great collaborators and partners and we are thrilled to have them on board to co-finance and produce this film with Cross Creek."