Michael Mann Taps Gabriel Leone For Hearthrob Racer Alfonso De Portago In ‘Ferrari’; Brazilian Actor Signs With CAA

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EXCLUSIVE: Brazilian actor Gabriel Leone has been set by director Michael Mann to play a key role in Ferrari, which is revving up for an August 1 production start in Italy. Leone has just signed with CAA and joins a cast that includes Adam Driver in the title role, alongside Penélope Cruz and Shailene Woodley as the women in his life.

The film is set during the summer of 1957, as the former race car driver-turned-magnate Enzo Ferrari staves off bankruptcy as he looks for salvation with a victory at the Mille Miglia, a treacherous 1,000-mile race in which pre-eminent carmakers battle for bragging rights, with their drivers hurtling around twists and turns at 180 mph. In the backdrop, Ferrari battles with his wife and business partner, Laura, as their marriage disintegrates over the mourning of their son and the acknowledgment of another potential heir.

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Leone is playing Alfonso De Portago, who was one of Ferrari’s driving stars and the epitome of the daredevil drivers of that era. He was a handsome and wealthy Spanish aristocrat who captured Europe’s imagination and was a favorite to win the Mille Miglia and his results changed the race forever, but not in the way intended. STX Entertainment has worldwide rights on the film.

Leone became a star in Brazil and gained international attention as the lead in Dom, the first original Amazon series produced in Brazil. The drama became the most-watched non-English-language series worldwide for Amazon. Leone recently completed filming its second season.

Mann directs Ferrari from a script by Troy Kennedy Martin (The Italian Job) and Mann based on Brock Yates’ book Enzo Ferrari – The Man and the Machine. Mann is also producing via his Moto Productions banner alongside P.J. van Sandwijk and Birdman producer John Lesher, as well as Lars Sylvest, Thorsten Schumacher and Gareth West with Niels Juul executive-producing.

Leone separately starred as the title character in Eduardo e Mônica opposite Alice Braga, and Alemão 2, the sequel to the successful 2014 action movie. Leone began his career in a theater company performing classic repertoire, making his stage debut in Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew. He also starred in numerous musicals including Wicked and Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812, for which he was nominated for the principal theater and musical awards in Brazil.

Leone is represented by agent Ilana Brakarz in Brazil, CAA and Thruline Entertainment.

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