Ron Howard filming Rush at the Nurburgring Nordschleife

Pictures

F1 fans are in for another cinema treat following the success of Senna.

Rush, which tells the story of James Hunt and Niki Lauda’s battle for the 1976 world championship, is being filmed by Oscar awarding-winning director Ron Howard.

Howard’s crew have been filming at the Nurburgring Nordschleife, scene of Lauda’s near-fatal crash that year, using cars from the period.

These images show a McLaren M23, Surtees TS19 and a pair of March 761s lapping the Nordschleife. See here for more pictures.

F1 pictures

View more F1 pictures

Images ?é?® PistonSpy

Advert | Go Ad-free

97 comments on Ron Howard filming Rush at the Nurburgring Nordschleife

  1. BasCB (@bascb) said on 16th January 2012, 13:37

    The view of those cars back on the ‘ring!

  2. Tim Katz (@timkatz) said on 16th January 2012, 13:37

    They weren’t doing full laps, were they? And who was driving?

  3. I’m still kind of skeptical about the movie, but this is heartening. I remember when Ron Howard was talking about the possibility of using the magic of CGI to replicate the Nordschleife instead of filming there on location.

    • Victor_RO (@victor_ro) said on 16th January 2012, 13:57

      They’ll still have to film some of the Nurburgring shots in the studio or in CGI, particularly whatever involves the old pitlane section which no longer exists.

    • verstappen (@verstappen) said on 16th January 2012, 14:49

      I’m no fan of CGI. It’s just not real.
      Shame they didn’t rebuild the whole pitlane. Probably a tad expensive, but hey, that didn’t do Titanic wrong!

      • verstappen (@verstappen) said on 16th January 2012, 14:50

        I mean expensive didn’t do Titanic wrong….
        CGI probably did.

        • Todfod (@todfod) said on 16th January 2012, 16:16

          The movie ‘Titanic’ was just wrong

          • celeste (@celeste) said on 16th January 2012, 21:22

            I agree, there is no enough money to made me watch that movie again

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 16th January 2012, 22:18

            The thing about Titanic is that it was a James Cameron film. And like almost all James Cameron films (with the possible exceptions of Termaintor 2, True Lies and Aliens) is that they’re a technical showcase of film-making. Cameron prefers to demonstrate film-making techniques rather than emphasise things like performance or story.

      • DavidS (@davids) said on 17th January 2012, 8:01

        Looking at some of the pit complexes of the era in file footage, it wouldn’t be a stretch for them to just build them in some back lot.

        They were little more than a few brick walls covered with some sheet metal.

      • nackavich (@nackavich) said on 17th January 2012, 13:45

        Of course its not real, thats why it’s called CGI…

        Its just the natural evolution of technology in film. The vast majority of movies now have, to a certain degree, differing levels of CGI and special effects. You may be surprised that when you watch a movie you think was done purely with a real set and a camera, a large portion of it was probably CGI.
        They’ll do whatever they can to cut costs.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 17th January 2012, 1:24

      I remember when Ron Howard was talking about the possibility of using the magic of CGI to replicate the Nordschleife instead of filming there on location.

      He’s probably going to need some CGI, because the film is not just looking at the German Grand Prix. It’s looking at the 1976 season and the championship fight. In order to do that, he’d probably going to need to film in several places, and some of those circuits don’t exist anymore. At the very least, Rush would probably need the following:

      – Kyalami, which showed the beginning of the Hunt-Lauda battle
      – Jarama, where Hunt was disqualified from first and later reinstated
      – Monaco, where Lauda really started to control the championship fight
      – Paul Ricard, where Hunt started to turn his season around
      – The Nurburgring, because of Lauda’s accident
      – Monza, because of Lauda’s return
      – Watkins Glen, where the championship drew close
      – Fuji, where Lauda withdrew and Hunt had to fight for third

      They may not need to show a lot of racing at these circuits, but I think the defiantely need to be covered because they were major parts of the championship. The problem is that in the past thirty-five years, most of these circuits have had serious work done on them, and Kyalami no longer exists in its original form. Howard may need to resort to some CGI in order to re-create some of the venues.

      • Kenny (@kenny) said on 17th January 2012, 3:23

        Most of the racing will be CGI…shots of the real thing will be few and far between. I, like others on this forum, am sceptical, but keep in mind that CGI are far more advanced than in the days of Driven, and Howard is a good film maker. I think the chances of an excellent film are good.

        • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 17th January 2012, 4:11

          I don’t think the racing will be CGI at all, because they won’t actually be racing at all. Everything about it will be planned out in the script. If the script calls for Hunt to pass Lauda on the straight at Dottinger-Hohe, then the entire thing will be detailed in the script, storyboarded during pre-production, rehearsed among the drivers and then filmed. It’s not going to be a case of Ron Howard saying “Okay, go racing!”. It’s going to be a co-ordinated, orchestrated and rehearsed scene that can be shot with real cars on the actual circuit.

          • Kenny (@kenny) said on 17th January 2012, 18:54

            PM- I wasn’t speculating or expressing an opinion. Most of the racing will be CGI.

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 17th January 2012, 22:50

            If most of the racing will be CGI, why are they bothering to film cars going around a circuit?

          • Kenny (@kenny) said on 18th January 2012, 6:44

            They need a bit. From what I’ve heard (very good source) it’s going to be a very little bit. But, it might not be bad. As I said, CGI has come a long way since the Driven debacle, and Howard puts Sly in the shade as a filmaker.

  4. I wonder who’s driving them?

  5. TimG (@timg) said on 16th January 2012, 13:51

    It’s not easy to spot, but there’s another March 761 in the photos featured above – decked out in Ronnie Peterson colours with helmet to match.

  6. Dan Thorn (@dan-thorn) said on 16th January 2012, 13:56

    I hope they’ve tracked down a Ferrari 312T2 to use in this film. I know there’s a 1975 312T that runs, but to not have the proper model would be a bit of a downer for me. Other than that, looking good!

  7. Mike (@mike) said on 16th January 2012, 14:46

    I’m skeptical… Ron Howard is the Hollywood type isn’t he? :/

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 16th January 2012, 14:51

      @Mike I think he’s made some very good films (Frost/Nixon) and some very poor ones (The Da Vinci Code).

      • Outsider said on 16th January 2012, 14:58

        I think the only other people in Hollywood apart from Ronnie Howard qualified to make an epic such as Rush would be the likes of James Cameron and Ridley Scott. Howard has made some great films and he fits the bill. Of course the film will be Hollywoodized for sure..but that’s their business. I think Daniel Bruhl could pull off a Niki Lauda but I’m not sold on Hemsworth. I hope Russel Crowe signs on!!

        • Todfod (@todfod) said on 16th January 2012, 16:18

          Yep. Lets not forget that this movie isn’t a production only for f1 fans, but is aimed at being a blockbuster for the masses.

          Ron Howard should do a good job, and I can’t wait for this movie to release

          • Malibu_GP said on 16th January 2012, 16:58

            My sentiments exactly My Friend!

          • Mike (@mike) said on 17th January 2012, 2:57

            this movie isn’t a production only for f1 fans, but is aimed at being a blockbuster for the masses.

            I can only read that as a bad thing.

            If that is so, then it isn’t a film about motor racing, it’s a film using motor racing as the backdrop for another generic action flick.

          • Todfod (@todfod) said on 17th January 2012, 5:08

            @Mike . There have been lots of sports related blockbuster movies that have been great. I don’t see why this should be any different.

      • SouthPawRacer (@southpawracer) said on 16th January 2012, 14:59

        Hopefully this film is a hit rather than a miss…

      • UKFan (@) said on 17th January 2012, 18:55

        Agreed but mostly poor films.

      • DVC (@dvc) said on 18th January 2012, 23:01

        Correct me if I’m wrong but Apollo 13 was a Ron Howard film. If you know the film you know how understated it is given its subject matter. The film is true to the actual events. If Howard is approaching Rush in the same way then I don’t think anyone will be disappointed.

    • Malibu_GP said on 16th January 2012, 16:56

      This is an area that I feel uniquely qualified to weigh in on. I have been following F1 since the 70’s and I have worked successfully in the ‘Biz’ for nearly twenty years as well. Why the disdain for Hollywood from so many here? Sure there are crap productions, but in My estimation (and most experts worldwide) Movies are the ultimate medium of entertainment and Here We make em best. Perhaps You were kidding, but let’s not confuse the negative aspects of the industry with the real world impact that great features, docs, and television have. Wherever U live, and whatever programming You enjoy (if any) owes a great deal to Hollywood. Remember that.

      • Mike (@mike) said on 17th January 2012, 3:02

        I just don’t think Hollywood can do F1. I’m mean sure, it might, no, probably will. be a good film. But will it be an F1 film?

        Senna was, It was aimed at people who like F1, or knew of Senna. It didn’t aim to be a Hollywood blockbuster. And that’s why it was good.

        Having said that, Action, Comedy, Drama. Go to Hollywood. But I think that unless the creator has a personal interest in the sport, then it won’t satisfy most F1 fans.

        • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 17th January 2012, 4:21

          But I think that unless the creator has a personal interest in the sport, then it won’t satisfy most F1 fans.

          Peter Morgan said he wrote the script because he was looking to do another film in the vein of Frost/Nixon, but he wanted to find a story that people wouldn’t already be familiar with like Richard Nixon.

          Ron Howard – who directed Frost/Nixon – was not a fan of motorsport and had no real interest in doing a film about it, even when Morgan first raised the idea. Morgan convinced him to meet Niki Lauda, and when he realised that Formula 1 was a world within itself, he started to get really interesed in it and is not a committed fan. He’s said in interviews that this is what he wants to do with Rush: draw people into the story by showing this whole world that might have otherwise passed them by.

          • Mike (@mike) said on 17th January 2012, 8:08

            That doesn’t bode well :/

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 17th January 2012, 8:49

            What do you mean it “doesn’t bode well”? Sure, Ron Howard wasn’t a fan of Formula 1 before he joined the Rush project, but how would that impact the quality of the final film? He is, after all, making this film for general audiences, not just Formula 1 fans. Especially since it’s not a film about Formula 1; Formula 1 is merely a framing device. The story will concentrate on the rivalry between Hunt and Lauda and the way they both approach the championship fight. Howard has said that he wants his experience of knowing nothing about the sport to being completely immersed in it to be the same experience that the audience has. In the same way that you don’t need to know anything about boxing to enjoy Rocky, you won’t need to know anything about Formula 1 to enjoy Rush.

            Peter Morgan, on the other hand, is a great admirer of all things British. James Hunt and McLaren were a British success story, exactly the kind of thing that Morgan writes about. And it’s not like he just read the Wikipedia article on the 1976 season – this is the man who had unprecedented access to the Royal family when he wrote The Queen. He goes in for meticulous research on all of his projects, and I believe he is good friends with Niki Lauda, who I think is a technical consultant on the film. I have my reservations about him, but that has more to do with his style as a writer.

            Your response seems to suggest that you think Rush will suffer because of a lack of a personal interest. I like you, mike, but I think that’s a bit of a selfish attitude to have. And a Formula 1 fans are the last people I would entrust to making a film set within the world of Formula 1. We’re too deeply involved in it. If we made a film about the 2011 season, then off-throttle blown diffusers would likely be a recurring subplot. And we would no doubt be fascinated by it. But the issue was so technical and took so long to explain that all we would successully do is drive audiences away. Besides, both Howard and Morgan have recently developed an interest in the sport from their work on the film. Maybe they haven’t been dedicated fans for a decade, but do they really need to be in order to make a good film?

  8. topdowntoedown (@topdowntoedown) said on 16th January 2012, 15:20

    A film about 70s F1 set at the Nurburgring? Brilliant!
    Directed by Ron Howard? Happy Days!

  9. Tim Walters said on 16th January 2012, 15:22

    Hi Keith – Do you know of any way to find out when the crew will be filming?

  10. maxthecat said on 16th January 2012, 18:15

    Knew nothing of this film until Ron Howard put a shout out on twitter for the owner of some Lauda crash footage.

    Seems a really odd season to make a film from, aside from the crash and Nikki not racing in Japan thus handing Hunt the title not a lot happened from what i seen and read.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 16th January 2012, 18:27

      not a lot happened

      Apart from championship leader Lauda nearly being killed in a fireball. And his nearest rival being stripped of wins in Spain and Britain (where Lauda was taken out at the start by his Ferrari team mate) and sent to the back of the grid under dubious pretences at Monza. And Lauda making an incredibly brave comeback just weeks after being given last rites, only to have to withdraw from the final race in streaming conditions because his facial injuries allow the water to get in his eyes. And Hunt crossing the line thinking he’s not finished high enough to win the championship, and having to be convinced by his team he really is the world champion.

      All that plus a six-wheeled car winning an F1 race.

      As memorable championships go, it’s got to be near the top of the list…

  11. Tim Walters said on 16th January 2012, 19:08

    Seems like they could have tracked down many other appropriate (or appropriate-looking) cars. A couple of years ago at a classic’s event at the (new) Ring, I saw an Ensign, a Tabatip Shadow, and a Wolf that could have been used in the film.
    Also, is that fairing coloring on the Orange March accurate? It appears to be red on the left side and blue on the right. And a white helmet? That wouldn’t be Brambilla.
    They did get the First National City red-white-blue on Ronnie’s March right. In the previous race, he was in blue and yellow Sweden colors. I think John Watson was also in this race in the FNC Penske.

    • TimG (@timg) said on 16th January 2012, 19:46

      Also, is that fairing coloring on the Orange March accurate? It appears to be red on the left side and blue on the right.

      It’s meant to be an Italian flag with a Beta tools logo on the white, but the green looks almost blue in the photo. It appeared on Brambilla’s 761 in period and the Beta website has a better picture of it here.

      Absolutely right on the helmet though – the driver of the Brett Lunger Surtees is also wearing a plain white helmet. On close inspection, “James Hunt” appears to be wearing a modern helmet (albeit with the right colours). “Ronnie Peterson’s” helmet almost looks period, but hard to tell from the photos.

      • This is my first comment here, I have only been following F1 since about 1995/1996 and I wouldn’t have a clue about what cars drove in what colors and who won what if it wouldn’t be for these comment sections… Thank you Keith for bring all this together…

        • BasCB (@bascb) said on 18th January 2012, 19:11

          Great to see what one might be able to discern on older pictures, isn’t it @chapor.

          Just look at the forum where there’s a whole competition of spotting what’s in old pictures, amazing!

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 17th January 2012, 9:04

      Seems like they could have tracked down many other appropriate (or appropriate-looking) cars. A couple of years ago at a classic’s event at the (new) Ring, I saw an Ensign, a Tabatip Shadow, and a Wolf that could have been used in the film.

      They probbly could have – but the more challenging question is, do they really need to? Rush is not going to be a faithful re-creation of the 1976 German Grand Prix. Arturo Merzario drove the only Wolf car in the race; he qualified 21st and retired on the third lap after the restart. And although he aided in recovering Lauda from his crash, three other drivers (Edwards, Lunger and Ertl) played a much bigger part. Merazio could easily be written out of the story because he is not necessary. If there is no need for Merazio and his Wolf-Williams in the scene, why should production acquire the Wolf chassis? They wouldn’t be using it.

      Likewise the Ensign. Chris Amon entered the only Ensign in the 1976 German Grand Prix, and withdrew after Lauda’s accident. Even if his character is included in the film (and since he had no real influence on the 1976 championship, that’s unlikely), any scene where he decides to retire could easily be written without needing his car present.

  12. UKFan (@) said on 16th January 2012, 22:17

    Very nice ! all cars with their original sponsorship, right markings on the tyres, I love this film already just for this shoot, great excuse to really see this historic cras in action.

  13. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 16th January 2012, 22:49

    My concern about Rush is the script. I haven’t really liked anything Peter Morgan has written, and I find that a lot of his historical films – like The Queen and Frost/Nixon – are disconnected from the audience, mostly because Morgan likes to view each of his characters through the eyes of another. We become an audience to an audience, and it’s difficult to engage with the narrative. I also fundamentally disagreed with his interpretation of James Bond when he was attached to Skyfall, treating him as a figure of historical reknown and the film as a private insight into his life, but assumes you had prior knowledge of the character (just as he did with The Queen and Frost/Nixon) in order to get the most out of the film. So I admit that I’m a little concerned about Peter Morgan. I think he’s over-rated and I’m not sure he would have been the best choice for Rush (even if he wrote the script unsolicited).

  14. Fisha695 (@fisha695) said on 17th January 2012, 0:26

    So basically this is going to be the movie Driven (which draws most of it’s storyline from the 1976 F1 season) but with F1 rights (which Driven was intended to have when the script was written, but at the last minute they decided to make it a CART movie)…..

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 17th January 2012, 1:13

      So basically this is going to be the movie Driven

      No. Driven has Sly cast as a former racing driver who makes his return to the sport to teach a rookie driver who to win when said rookie starts to feel the pressure in the championship fight. None of the key players in 1976 fit any one of those roles. To say Driven is based on the 1976 season is misleading. It’s actually a mish-mash of people, places and events from a variety of seasons and in a variety of racing categories. 1976 had its influence, but so too did 1997 (upstart young driver challenges reigning World Champion).

      with F1 rights (which Driven was intended to have when the script was written, but at the last minute they decided to make it a CART movie)

      It wasn’t a decision made at the last minute. Stallone had to go thought Bernie in order to make it about Formula 1, and Bernie didn’t like the way the script was going. He had the same concerns about Peter Morgan’s Rush script – he didn’t want “a movie about Formula 1″ – until Morgan told that Formula 1 was only a framing device, and that the real meat of the film was in looking at who two men with two totally different personalities and two totally different approaches to the sport were both battling for the same thing: the World Championship.

      I very much imagine that Rush will be one part Rocky and one part Frost/Nixon.

Add your comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

All comments must abide by the comment policy. Comments may be moderated.
Want to post off-topic? Head to the forum.
See the FAQ for more information.