One is a former Batman; the other has heroically avoided comic book movies, save for cameos in both Thor: Ragnarok and Deadpool 2. They are Christian Bale and Matt Damon, and despite the title of their forthcoming movie — Ford v. Ferrari — they aren’t actually dueling each other. They’re on the same side, trying to design a race car that will out-speed the competition.
The trailer for Ford v. Ferrari dropped during Game 2 of the NBA Finals on Sunday, and it shows Bale’s British driver Ken Miles recruited by Damon’s designer Carroll Shelby to work for Henry Ford II (Tracy Letts), who wants to crush his chief adversary with a super-speedster in the mid-’60s. The movie is not to be confused with Ferrari, director Michael Mann’s long-in-the-works, seemingly perpetually shelved biopic that was at one point also to star Bale.
The trailer also offers glimpses of the always-welcome Jon Bernthal, and it was helmed by James Mangold, of Walk the Line as well as both The Wolverine and its grungy, gory, bleak-o-rama, ultimately bittersweet follow-up Logan.
Racing movies have long tended to come up short. Back in 1990, Days of Thunder took some of the speed out of young Tom Cruise’s career, while the likes of Driven, with Sylvester Stallone, and Rush, with Chris Hemsworth, never quite caught on. Perhaps the most popular modern racecar movie is Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby. When it arrives on November 15, Ford v. Ferrari will enter a culture notoriously disinterested in non-blockbuster pictures. Then again, those racing scenes look as exciting as a Marvel action set piece, yeah?