Ron Howard signs on to direct Lauda biopic Rush

Le Mans. Grand Prix. Senna. Even Days of Thunder. Legendary racing films all, but our list is preparing to grow by one more epic saga played out on the silver screen.

That project, as we reported last month, is set to focus on the battle between Niki Lauda and James Hunt in the 1978 Formula 1 World Championship, wherein Lauda suffered a devastating fiery crash at the Nürburgring, coming back to challenge Hunt in one of the closest title fights in racing history. The screenplay's been titled Rush, and now it's got a director.

Paul Greengrass of Bourne trilogy fame was reportedly interested in taking on the project, but the latest reports indicate that Ron Howard will be picking up the bull horn instead. The child actor-turned-director has been responsible for such legendary films as Cocoon, Apollo 13 and Frost/Nixon.

While Howard works on that project, Steven Spielberg and his Dreamworks production company are reportedly considering a second film that would focus in on the life of James Hunt, the unabashed embodiment of male bravado who fought Lauda for the title down to the wire.

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