EXCLUSIVE: Fox has tapped Pulitzer and Tony award-winner Tracy Letts for the key role of former Ford Motor Company President Henry Ford II in James Mangold’s upcoming movie about the battle between Ford and Ferrari at the 1966 Le Mans World Championship.

Christian Bale and Matt Damon will star in the currently untitled big-budget pic, which will follow the true story of automotive visionary Carroll Shelby (Damon), British driver Ken Miles (Bale) and a team of American engineers and designers who were dispatched by Ford with the mission of building from scratch a new race car to defeat the perennially dominant Ferrari at the iconic Le Mans race.

Jon Bernthal, Caitriona Balfe, Noah Jupe, Paul Sparks and Jack McMullen will also star.

Logan director Mangold developed the film with screenwriters Jez and John-Henry Butterworth, the brothers who previously collaborated on the script for Edge Of Tomorrow and Fair Game. Chernin Entertainment is producing and the team is prepping now ahead of an August shoot.

The feature was recently awarded $17M in California tax credits and the production is expected to spend more than $78M in California on qualified expenditures alone. The Golden State is expected to double for Florida, Michigan, England and France.

Letts has been upping his number of screen roles in recent years and last year had key parts in The Lovers, Lady Bird and The Post. He is well known for his portrayal of Andrew Lockhart in seasons 3 and 4 of Showtime’s Homeland, and he currently portrays Nick on the HBO comedy Divorce. He will be seen in USA Network’s The Sinner and he is screenwriter on Fox 2000’s upcoming thriller The Woman In The Window, which will star Amy Adams.

The acclaimed playwright won the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for stage play August: Osage County, which he then went on to adapt into the Oscar-nominated film of the same name. He also won a Tony Award for his portrayal of George in the revival of Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf? Letts is repped by Innovative Artists.