The first trailer for the long-awaited biopic about legendary Formula One driver Niki Lauda has been released, confirming that the upcoming movie, Rush, looks to be just as dramatic and captivating as 2011’s brilliant Senna.
The new movie, which hits cinemas nationwide in September, has been directed by two-time Academy Award winner Ron Howard and features actor Daniel Brühl (Inglourious Basterds) in the lead role and Chris Hemsworth (The Avengers) playing Lauda’s nemesis, James Hunt.
It centers on the epic battle between Lauda and Hunt in the 1976 Formula One World Championship and was filmed in historic locations in the UK, Lauda’s native Austria and even at the Nürburgring race track in Germany where Lauda suffered his famous crash that almost killed him and left him scarred for life.
Following the crash, Lauda, driving for Ferrari that year, got back behind the wheel after missing just two races to challenge Hunt, who was with McLaren.
In the final race of the season, in Japan, Lauda chose to retire from the race due to heavy rainfall and his own safety concerns (he was unable to blink because of facial burns from his fiery Nürburgring crash), essentially handing the title over to Hunt who successfully completed the race, and ultimately won the championship.
Lauda’s career resulted in vast improvements to F1 safety, including the end of competition on the Nürburgring (races are now held at the separate GP track). While Lauda himself suffered permanent and disfiguring injuries, there’s no way to estimate the number of lives he ultimately may have saved by helping to modernize the sport of motor racing.
The life story the three-time world champion is well worth the read, from the days where he needed to finance his own participation in motorsports with bank loans, right up until his later years in the commercial airline business. Amazingly, Lauda is still involved in F1, serving as a senior exec at the Mercedes AMG team.