EXCLUSIVE: Paramount Pictures has signed on to distribute in most world territories Enzo Ferrari, the Michael Mann-directed drama on a pivotal year in the life of the Italian auto magnate that will star Christian Bale. The film is now set for a summer 2016 shoot in Italy, with funding from Vendian Entertainment and YooZoo Bliss Film Fund. Vincent Maraval’s Insiders will sell at the upcoming AFM the world territories not spoken for in this Paramount deal. As part of its funding deal, YooZoo Pictures will distribute Enzo Ferrari in China.

michael mannEnzo Ferrari is the personal, intimate story of a passionate man and his sprawling world, at times hilarious and at the next moment devastating, as he faces a brutal challenge to his survival. It takes place in 1957. Mann will produce with Vendian and YooZoo Bliss. The script was Troy Kennedy-Martin (The Italian Job and Edge Of Darkness), revised by David Rayfiel (The Firm) and Mann. It’s based on the Brock Yates book Enzo Ferrari, The Man, The Cars, The Races. Mann’s reps at CAA arranged financing for the film and brokered the distribution deals. Other production partners include Vittorio Cecchi Gori and Gabrielle Israeliovici.

This picture has come together at Paramount in a way that is reminiscent of what Martin Scorsese did with The Wolf Of Wall Street, which arrived on Paramount’s doorstep fully funded. Paramount took it from there, and the film proved to be a real auteur turn that garnered five Oscar nominations. Enzo Ferrari is a love labor that Mann has worked on for 15 years, shaping it with Three Days Of The Condor helmer Sydney Pollack until he passed away.

This is another big step up for Vendian and YooZoo. Vendian’s first release was the Scott Cooper-directed Johnny Depp-starrer Black Mass and upcoming films include the Gary Ross-directed Matthew McConaughey-starrer The Free State Of Jones, and the Oliver Stone-directed film Snowden that stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt. YooZoo Pictures and Bliss Media teamed earlier this year to created YooZoo Bliss Film Fund as a mechanism to fund pictures with global aspirations. YooZoo separately acquired the China distribution rights to the Mel Gibson-directed WWII drama Hacksaw Ridge.