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British film writer working on Lauda script UPDATE #2 Ron Howard, Director of future Formula 1 motion picture Rush, says the script for his latest project is ‘mesmerizing’, arguing that the film will be of global appeal when released. Written by Peter Morgan, the movie will depict the dramatic and hard-fought title race between McLaren driver James Hunt and Ferrari's Niki Lauda in 1976.

After returning from a near fatal incident at the Nürburgring, Lauda ultimately lost out to Hunt by a solitary point, deliberately retiring his car during the finale in Fuji because of the treacherous conditions. Howard, who is piecing together the drama, admits that this compelling but truthful story was one of the main reasons for getting involved.

"There are two reasons," Howard said during an interview with the official Formula 1 website. "Firstly, I am a huge fan of sports - almost any kind of sport - not just motor racing. Secondly, I am always in search of a good story with great characters.

"Peter Morgan, who did the script for Frost/Nixon, has known Niki Lauda for quite some time and started digging for information about 1976, when Niki had his accident and then literally rose again like a phoenix to fight James Hunt for the title. Peter has written a mesmerizing script - not only for Formula 1 fans, but also for everybody hooked on sports and drawn to extraordinary characters."

Academy Award winner Howard compared the style of the production to a range of his previous works, insisting that it will be a fully-fledged film, not a documentary.

"No, it’s going to be a motion picture," he added, when referring to newly released Senna. "It will be fascinating, sizzling, sexy and entertaining in the mould of Apollo 13, Frost/Nixon and A Beautiful Mind."

"This film is going to be a European production with a really big budget. And if we do our job well, and concentrate on the story and the characters involved, it will be a motion picture fit for the whole world. The story has so many elements that everybody can be interested in."

06/22/11 (GMM)  A Hollywood movie about Niki Lauda will be called 'Rush'.  We reported in April that British script writer Peter Morgan, best known for The Queen and Frost/Nixon, was working on a screenplay to immortalize F1's 1976 season.

35 years ago, Austrian great Lauda almost burned to death in a fiery crash but returned six weeks later to battle James Hunt for the title.

It was recently believed that Bourne Ultimatum and Green Zone director Paul Greengrass would direct Rush, but the LA Times quotes a source as saying The Da Vinci Code's Ron Howard is now being touted to lead the project.

The film, having gained the financial backing for the project, "aims to shoot this year in Europe", added the report. zzzz

04/29/11 (GMM) A British film writer is working on a script to immortalize the most famous season in F1 great Niki Lauda's successful career.

The Oscar-nominated Peter Morgan, best known for writing The Queen and Frost/Nixon, is focusing on the 1976 season, when Lauda almost burned to death in a fiery crash but returned six weeks later to battle James Hunt for the title.

The typically-blunt Lauda joked to Vienna radio Oe3 that he is giving some thought to which actor might depict him.

"Anyone who is 25 or 26 with his right ear burnt off and dreams to be made up to look like me can start making plans," he said.

DPA news agency said Morgan, who is being actively supported by 62-year-old Lauda, is seeking a producer and director for the project.

Lauda won 25 grands prix and three world championships and is also famous for his airline businesses.

He is still a regular in the F1 paddock, appearing as a pundit for German television.

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