James Mangold is “one of the most underrated directors in our business,” according to Hugh Jackman, who introduced a special screening of the filmmaker’s “Ford v Ferrari” at the Tribeca Screening Room in New York City on November 9. The actor added, “To me, it’s a travesty that he has never been nominated [for Best Director at the Oscars]. I saw this movie and I was like, ‘I think this might be his shot.'” Watch Jackman and Mangold’s entire introduction to the film above.
Jackman doesn’t appear in “Ford v Ferrari,” but he is well acquainted with Mangold. After his breakthrough performance as Wolverine in the first “X-Men” movie in 2000, the first person to offer Jackman something besides a tough-guy role was Mangold, who gave him the lead in the romantic comedy “Kate and Leopold” opposite Meg Ryan in 2001. They worked together twice more after that in films where Jackman reprised his star-making role: “The Wolverine” (2013) and “Logan” (2017), the latter of which became the first comic book superhero movie to earn an Oscar nomination for its writing (to date, that’s Mangold’s only nomination).
“There’s also a bunch of movies that Jim has helped me on that he doesn’t get credit for,” Jackman added. “People should know that, actually … There are many filmmakers and studio executives who call on Jim for his guidance and wisdom at various points in a cut.” Mangold “traverses genres at will,” as evidenced just by his range of work with Jackman, but also the musical biopic “Walk the Line” (2005) and the western “3:10 to Yuma” (2007), among his other directorial efforts. “He has an ability to make big movies have the heart of an independent.”
“Ford v Ferrari” is indeed a big movie. It’s a big-budget sports film that tells the true story of a racer (Christian Bale) and an auto designer (Matt Damon) who team up to help the Ford Motor Company defeat Italian carmaker Ferrari at the 24 Hours of Le Mans racing competition in 1966. Mangold admits he’s “not really into motorsports,” so while the film includes extensive recreations of auto races, what really drew him to the story was the central relationship. He considers this a film “about friendship, and also cars.”
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