James Mangold:

“I find (the car racing) world, the pursuit of perfection, fascinating. A single washer or belt failing or a second’s hesitation can be your downfall. It’s a great allegory for almost anything in life. How close we can come in a moment to our triumph or destruction.”

“I love stories that take you to a time when we were a little less cautious: when we were first figuring out our relationship to technology, how we were going to make excellent tools and faster better contraptions based upon our instincts more than computer models. Now, we’ve become so corporate, liability-protected, computer simulated and risk averse it’s hard to imagine the same kind of discovery is even possible. The eccentric characters who pioneered racing, much like our astronauts and test pilots, put their lives on the line every day. The cars were prototypes, one of a kind, and sometimes death traps, dawning-age beasts so powerful they could tear themselves apart. The men behind the wheel and in the pits and garages came from all walks of life, speed junkies, technical engineers, entrepreneurs, military men, street racers, gamblers, designers, hot rodders, and car geeks, young and old. All working together at the very edge of technology without a map.”

“Our goal was not to make just a racing film, but a film that celebrated these maverick characters and their profound friendships, forged on blacktop at two hundred miles an hour. Christian [Bale] and Matt [Damon] jumped deep into their characters as Ken Miles and Carroll Shelby and also explored their own wonderful relationship with each other. I think both of them deeply enjoyed their characters. Ken Miles is kind of a parallel to Christian himself. Working class, not interested in marketing stardom or success defined by anything but a simple victory on the track. Miles was a man who was all about craft, who loved the art of racing. Not always the most diplomatic person, but a great father and a wonderful husband. Matt nails it too, playing a character (Shelby) whose heart condition forced him to give up the driver’s seat and find his adrenaline on the sidelines. So he took the intensity and determination it takes to win and applied it to design, to building a team and creating a business. Aside from simply being a great designer, Shelby’s confidence, charm, and his ability to persuade and evangelize were the real tools of his trade.

“I hope this film makes you think about the value of friendship like the one between Ken Miles and Shelby. We’ve all become so isolated. Theirs was a time when technology hadn’t robbed us of our interdependence. More than just amazing cars and speed, I think this is a film about family, survival, and the way you have to learn to trust your friends with your lives if you ever hope to transcend yourself.”

Director: James Mangold 

Writers: Jez Butterworth, John-Henry Butterworth and Jason Keller

Producers: Peter Chernin, James Mangold, Jenno Topping

Cast: Matt Damon, Christian Bale, Jon Bernthal, Caitriona Balfe, Tracy Letts, Josh Lucas, Noah Jupe, Remo Girone, Ray McKinnon

Academy Award-winners Matt Damon and Christian Bale star in LE MANS ‘66, based on the true story of the visionary American car designer Carroll Shelby (Damon) and the fearless British-born driver Ken Miles (Bale), who together battled corporate interference, the laws of physics, and their own personal demons to build a revolutionary race car for Ford Motor Company and take on the dominating race cars of Enzo Ferrari at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in France in 1966.