McLaren M23, Nurburgring Nordschleife, Rush filming, 2011

First trailer for Ron Howard’s 1976 F1 film Rush

RushPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

McLaren M23, Nurburgring Nordschleife, Rush filming, 2011The first trailer for Ron Howard’s forthcoming film Rush has appeared.

The film tells the story of the 1976 F1 season and the rivalry between James Hunt and Niki Lauda. The two drivers are played by Chris Hemsworth and Daniel Bruhl.

Among the locations used for filming was the Nurburgring Nordschleife, where Lauda’s near-fatal crash during the German Grand Prix was recreated. Original cars and replicas created to look like them were used.

See pictures of the cars being filmed here:

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129 comments on “First trailer for Ron Howard’s 1976 F1 film Rush”

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  1. Been a long time coming. Can’t wait!

    1. Spoiler alert though, James Hunt wins the world championship.

    2. At last an F1 movie.. Looks great to me, cant wait till September.. Will definitely watch it.. People might find lot of flaws in this, but please remember, this movie is mainly aimed at non-fans… We fanatics dont need to be wooed…

      1. @jjjj I only hope this comes out in Malaysian cinemas. Senna didn’t, as far as I can recall :'(

  2. I really like the fact they used actual cars for the film; that was an excellent decision

    1. Yeah, they used Rob Austin’s Surtees for the crash scenes. I think whats impressed me most is that, given he apparently wasn’t mega into F1 before hand, Ron Howard’s treatment of the subject matter and detail is phenomenal.

      1. @bendana – I seem to recall Howard saying that he wasn’t really interested in doing the film when Peter Morgan approached him about it. But he’d worked with Morgan on Frost/Nixon, so he read the script and began to realise the depth of potential in the material, and got hooked on the sport. Rush was really his vehicle for getting into Formula 1, and so that’s how he approached it, trying to draw audiences into a world they might know nothing about. It tallies nicely with Morgan’s fly-on-the-wall approach to storytelling, where the audience doesn’t actively participate, but instead becomes an unseen spectator. It’s more about characters than it is about plot and themes, which is not an approach I’m particularly fond of, but I do think it will work well in conjunction with Howard’s approach to the material.

        1. Conversely, its actually one of my favourite approaches to storytelling – showing rather than telling.

    2. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      8th April 2013, 20:59

      I always thought those cars would look cheesy in a modern movie and I was hoping they’d be clever in shooting them to convey the raw speed, noise and overall danger of driving one of those cars. From the trailer it looks like they managed to capture that but we’ll have to wait for the movie to see it.

  3. SO. MUCH. WANT.

    Hemsworth looks scarily convincing, as does Daniel Bruhl.

  4. Cant wait to see this !

  5. More than a little sceptical that an F1 car, even of that era, would get air going over a rise at any speed! Still looking forward to it, though :)

    1. @mdbooth Oh they very much did at the Nordschleife! Maybe not quite as high as shown in the trailer but they definitely got air.

      1. You say that, but theres a photo of Jackie Stewarts F1 car getting higher than that with a crashed touring car in the background.

          1. If that kind of air happened today, we would get this message from Race Control- “Incident involving car no 1 (Nikki Lauda) for showing off will be investigated after the race.”

      2. Here’s Lauda catching some air in 1976 at the Nordschleife :

      3. Wasn’t the place called Flugplatz even?

        1. One of them was; in total, there were I think 13 different places on the NĂĽrburgring where cars took off

          1. More correct number is three (where you were guaranteed some airtime if you arrived there at proper speed): Flugplatz (or Quiddelbacher Höhe, depending what map you follow), Pflantzgarten and the back straight (before 1970).

        2. thatscienceguy
          8th April 2013, 14:18

          Nothing to do with the track itself though, that section was named Flugplatz because there was an airstrip next to the track, not the track itself.

      4. I remember, what could have been a ‘salto mortale’, of Manfred Winckelhock in F2 on the nordschleiffe, wich was even higher then in the trailer. And he got out without any injuries!

    2. Ok, so I think that your question about the possibility of those cars getting airborne at the Nordschleife are answered with all those picture links @mdbooth!

  6. It looks worryingly Driven-like in the trailer but hopefully the trailer is just all the cheesy Hollywood bits to attract non-F1 fans.

    1. Cannot agree less. They reconstructed Niki’s crash pretty accurate in my opinion.

    2. I think that might just be the camera angles and quick-cut editing of the trailer.

    3. Unfortunately at times it looked like that. Hopefully this is definitely just a “Hollywood trailer” and the finished product is more, well, realistic.

    4. Hope so too, it does make sense to do that, after all, what F1 fan wouldn’t go and see it even if it promised to be only a tad better than driveln :-)

    5. Driven is great American cinema and I will hear no opinion to the contrary…

      Ok, no, seriously, but… can’t lie – guilty pleasure film.

  7. Let me be the first to say it looks bloody awful.

    1. and I’ll be the first to point out that you left out a reason…

      1. It’s one opinion. No film will be to everybody’s tastes.

    2. I agree. Looks like something I wouldn’t watch if I weren’t interested in the subject.

    3. It’s all about compromise.
      Pitching a film entirely to an F1 Fan’s standards would eliminate the majority of the market.
      To me, this very much has an Apollo 13 vibe to it, which makes sense.
      It’s a fairly accurate depiction of the events that unfolded with slight embellishment of the story and the drama that unfolded. The astronauts in Apollo 13 didn’t see the explosion or the sparks in the oxygen tank or any of the exciting special effects stuff the audience gets to see.
      I believe they’re choosing certain shots for the trailer to build that excitement and action that, in the context of the movie, makes sense. There will be small things that mainly fans of F1 will pick up on, and I’m sure not every astronaut or NASA believed every little bit of what happened in Apollo 13. But after watching Ron Howard’s movies I’m confident that the compromises made for the sake of Hollywood and revenue won’t taint the overall experience for us F1 fanatics.

    4. Why does it look awful? From what I can see it looks good, and Hemsworth and Bruhl look pretty convincing in their respective roles.
      Rush is and always was going to be Hollywood, it’s a movie, not a documentary. Hardcore F1 fans would always argue the sport doesn’t need to be spiced up. But this is about attracting the F1 hardcore, moderate fans and ‘not normally interested in F1’ type of film fan, therefore it’s got to have added impact and visual appeal.
      I’m not expecting anything as stylish as ‘Le Mans’, because I think this has cost too much money and they need to appeal to a wide audience to recoup that. Personally I can’t wait though, this trailer has made me more enthusiastic, not less.

      1. That’s just my impression. I don’t have any particular reason and I won’t try to convince you, it’s just my reaction.

  8. Looks good!

  9. Well I think it looks fantastic! I didnt realise it was going to be Thor playing James Hunt but it looks like a brilliant choice! Great trailer, I can’t wait for this.

    1. Yes, Thor playing James Hunt, pretty sure some girls got hammered.

    2. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      8th April 2013, 21:08

      Well, I hope the accident in this movie isn’t caused by lightning from his Mjolnir hammer – although that would make for quite a scene. It’d be quite funny if he referred to Lauda as “You puny midguardian! You dare challenge Thor?”

  10. As a fan of Formula 1, I’m naturally excited for this.

    But as a fan of film in general, I’m very hesitant about it. I don’t know who the cinematographer is, but some of those shots look particularly over-exposed to make the colours more vibrant, but the colour palette doesn’t need that over-exposure; it’s bright enough as is. The end result is that the on-track action looks like a cartoon in places, whilst the off-track stuff has bland colours to it that make it look muddy when over-exposed.

    Still on the cinematography, I get the feeling that some of the racing has been shot by someone who had never actually seen a race. Some of the angles are simply too close to the cars, so you only get about 90% of the car in the frame at any given time. Others are awkwardly positioned, like that camera mounted on the McLaren as it tries to weave between three or four crashing cars – you can’t see anything.

    I can’t help but feel that this film is going in the wrong direction. It’s being billed as a true story, following Niki Lauda’s recovery from his accident, but that just seems like a retread of other sporting film cliches. Ordinarily, it’s a great story, but to me, the real appeal of the 1976 season lies in the way Hunt and Lauda were both equally-deserving of the title, and both equally-capable of winning it, but both of them approached it from opposite ends of the spectrum. That offers a whole lot more in the way of themes to draw on, which is the essence of storytelling. Which is unusual, because Peter Morgan – the screenwriter – followed this tack with Frost/Nixon and The Queen, so I suspect this might be the studio pitching the film on the wrong level. It wouldn’t be the first time it has happened.

    1. The problem is, if you pitch the film to F1 fans specifically, you’re going to cut out a lot of the filmgoing audience who just go “F1 is boring.”

      If we go back to Senna, while a different Genre, its key was focusing on Senna’s story – thats what led to its overall success, the mechanics of F1 were almost sidelined.

      To be fair, I don’t think they’ve played their whole hand here in relation to the script – I think this trailer is too early to judge.

      1. The problem is, if you pitch the film to F1 fans specifically, you’re going to cut out a lot of the filmgoing audience who just go “F1 is boring.”

        Oh, I’m not suggesting anything of the sort. I just think the themes of “the closer you are to death, the more alive you feel” are wrong. I’d be more interested – and I think audiences would be more interested – in exploring whether James Hunt’s notoriety was a result of his success, or whether his notoriety was what led to his success. It opens up some interesting thematic territory that hasn’t really been explored in this kind of film before. But going by the trailer, I think the film may have erred by observing the tropes of the genre a little too closely.

        1. Also, from a purely technical film-making standpoint, this trailer is a mess.

          1. Also, from a purely technical film-making standpoint, this trailer is a mess.


            What about the trailer made it a mess?

            Just asking cause I have a background in sound engineering and film post production.. and I wouldn’t call this the best trailer ever, but it was a pretty solid (yet chilche) hollywood trailer.

            Also thought the masses would relate more to a cheesy statement like “the closer you are to death, the more alive you feel” than being introduced to the notoriety of a character in a sport they know nothing about.

            You’re speaking purely from the point of view of an f1 enthusiast

          2. You’re speaking purely from the point of view of an f1 enthusiast

            No, I’m not.

            I might not have your background in sound engineering, but I do teach film and film-making. It’s one of the subject areas I specialise in. And when I look at this trailer, I see a jumbled mess of sloppy editing, poor cinematography, and a bland score.

        2. that would make a very good film, but the problem is that its not specifically a James Hunt film – which in a way is a pity, because he’s a very interesting character in and of himself. Wierdly, all of the early material I read in relation to Rush seemed to indicate it was going to be biased in Lauda’s favour rather than Hunt’s, but this trailer seems to belie that.

          In terms of your criticism of the trailer, from someone who wen’t through a filmmaking degree, I can see where your coming from. Pulling out of that, though, and looking at it from a none-technical point of view, it does a good job of making the content look exciting. It’s quite a story driven trailer, and that quick-cut style tends to work quite well with that. It’s on of the downsides of having done any kind of film-making/film analysis work that it can be quite jarring when you look at some trailers.

          Spot on on the score though – it is a bit crap. We’ll have to wait and see what the full result is on that, I guess.

    2. Just as the old saying is “Never judge a book by it’s cover”
      The same thing applies to film trailers. The trailer is often developed by the studio’s own department, not the Director/DP, so any critique of technique based on the trailer alone is baseless.

      Also, I don’t see any severe instances of overexposure. I think that’s just a symptom of the film being processed to look like it was shot using contemporary film stock. The DP on this film is the same guy that did Slumdog Millionaire and The Last King of Scotland, so it would seem that they are going down the super vibrant route.

      Also, saying that it looks like the film will be full of cliches is ignoring what trailers are about. They are meant to engage the audience quickly, so cliches are used because they aid that process.
      Just look at the treatment the official trailer did to other Ron Howard movies:

      The Queen (perhaps the worst of all, because it almost looks like the movie is about the Queen being a murderer)

      I think it’s best to reserve judgement of a film until you actually see it, because trailers are notoriously unreliable.

      1. The Queen is not a Ron Howard film. Perhaps you’re confusing the screenwriter with the director.

        1. I was going to post the trailer to Apollo 13, but watched the Queen one, and it was much worse.

          Proof reading fail.

    3. some of the racing has been shot by someone who had never actually seen a race

      Some of the close-quarter racing shots seem to have come out of the “two virtual Red Bulls race each other neck-and-neck in the track preview” school of unrealistic, contrived computer animation wizardry. The crash and burn scene looks a bit too computerish, as well.

      I also don’t understand why drama in such movies needs to be captured through shouting, angry gestures and big words said in a grimly determined, messianic tone.

    4. Can’t say that I agree with your second point. Wide shots would take out some of the action from these most dramatic moments for people who aren’t fans of motor racing already. And although I appreciate a wide shot of an exciting overtake, that is partly because I know it is real and has actual significance. Also, we don’t know just how much of the racing will be shot like this. I’m sure there will be greater variety, but this is only a trailer- putting in some of the most exciting and chaotic shots seems like exactly the kind of thing that studios do. Also, I’m not sure I mind the occasional shot where what’s happening isn’t completely clear- those shots exist mostly to shows you how chaotic and dangerous something is, and they work wonderfully in some films such as the Bourne Ultimatum.

      1. I can agree with that, actually. they aren’t making a film to look like a reproduction of a race – otherwise, why not just look at archive footage of the race?

      2. Wide shots would take out some of the action from these most dramatic moments for people who aren’t fans of motor racing already.

        They’re not just limited to wide-angle shots and tighter shots. There’s something in between that would have been a bit wider than what has been used, without losing any of the excitment, but avoiding the problems of being too tightly-shot.

        1. As I said, maybe there will be a greater range in the actual film.

  11. Looks great and sounds awesome. Hope it’s not all that “flashy-Hollywood”… like “let’s make it interesting because normal people don’t give a …. about F1 and just like fast cars going sideways and people changing gears all the time, while making angry face, cuz that obviously makes you go faster”.

    1. @fer-no65 Don’t forget the close ups of people’s feet pounding the accelerator pedal to the floor…Hollywood loves that.

      1. @geemac yeah… and don’t forget people, only floor it AFTER you’re overtaken…

    2. or the classic crunching through gears…

      ….whilst in reverse

    3. Given that all road cars in action films seem to have 10 forward gears, I would expect F1 cars in the movies to have at least 20 gears.

  12. I can’t wait for this film to come out. Like many I hope that it tells the story of 1976 properly and doesn’t go down the “Driven” route (which seemed to be “When in doubt make everything fly through the air and explode”). 1976 remains one of the most infamous seasons in the history of our great sport. It is a compelling story, one which needs to be told, but it also involved incredibly complex characters. I honestly don’t think that it is possible to condense a season which was filled with so much drama, intrigue, tragedy and politicking, AND which had two larger than life characters like Hunt the Shunt and The Rat as its main protagonists, into a 90 minute feature film without missing out heaps and heaps of important details.

    1. @geemac

      I hope that it tells the story of 1976 properly and doesn’t go down the “Driven” route (which seemed to be “When in doubt make everything fly through the air and explode”).

      Would you be surprised to learn that Driven was directed by Renny Harlin, who is also known for directing other explodey nonsense such as Die Hard 2: Die Harder (until very recently, the worst Die Hard film), Deep Blue Sea, Clifhanger and The Long Kiss Goodnight?

      1. Wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest!

  13. So what if it is a bit Hollywood? Re-enacting an f1 season might appeal to the more devoted f1 fan, but its not going to make this film a success- it’ll just leave people who dont have any previous knowledge of the event lost. I say appealing to the masses is brilliant, hopefully it can lead to some more people becoming interested in the sport. After all, most f1 fanatics will go watch it regardless

  14. This looks amazing. ‘Nuff said.

  15. Chris and Daniel are the men. I am big fan of both.

  16. Is it just me or do all Hans Zimmer soundtracks sound the same?

    1. Yes, they do: a lot of percussion, chords, epicness… practically everything except music itself

      1. You pretty much summed it up right there. I still absolutely love the Pirates of the Caribbean Soundtrack, but I can’t help seeing Zimmer as the Britney Spears or Lady Gaga of soundtracks = commercialized crap.
        Batman soundtrack is pretty awesome, but I’m sure it would have been the same old Hans crap without James Newton Howard.

        1. agreed and the social network would have been boring too if it were not for trent reznor.

  17. I can’t wait to see this film, but i don’t know why i didn’t felt exited like i was when i watched the “Senna” trailer
    maybe because i’m a big fan of Ayrton or maybe because it was based on true footage

    1. @tifoso1989 – I think the two movies definitely appeal to different audiences: Senna is a documentary with archive footage as you said, so it is telling the story with the events themselves. Rush however is much more of a drama, with reinactments and Hollywood casting.

      I get the same feeling as you though: as I wasn’t around to see the 1976 season but have read so much about it, I would like a more realistic approach taken to it – that was definitely the case with Senna, but I’m not so sure about Rush. I just hope it’s less out-and-out Hollywood action and more of a compelling drama.

      1. The senna film was realistic in terms of using real footage, but it left out many things that happened. Many import events and incidents were just left on the cutting room floor. For any F1 fans (that havent got the old rose tints on) & have a knowledge for the time it was very one sided and not fair on certain parties involved.

        But that a side its was beautifully put together film.

  18. I’m gonna trust Ron Howard on this one – his track record speaks for itself. Yes, some of the effects in the trailer may be a bit off-putting, but the details shown in the trailer look reasonably accurate. They also featured a bit more of the crash in the trailer because they’re going for a different audience to us. After all, we’re definitely gonna watch this whatever happens. The trailer isn’t even so much for the casual fan. It is for the non-fan – someone who could be interested to see Thor drive a racecar.

    As far as I’m concerned, if it’s good enough for Niki Lauda, it’s good enough for me.

    1. Good enough for Hunt’s son as well!

  19. Awesome!

  20. I didn’t think you where aloud porn on this site? !!! Wicked!

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