Friday, January 20, 2012

Michael T. Cannell's "The Limit"

Michael T. Cannell is a former editor of The New York Times Home section, publisher of, and author of I.M. Pei: Mandarin of Modernism.

Here he dreamcasts an adaptation of his new book, The Limit: Life and Death on the 1961 Grand Prix Circuit:
Believe it or not, I sold the movie rights to The Limit: Life and Death on the 1961 Grand Prix Circuit before writing its first sentence. It was pure luck.. Another book about mid-century racing was soon to be published with its own movie deal. My agent managed to sell the rights to The Limit up front so the rival project wouldn’t get too far ahead. Two books about racing were, in effect, waging their own race.

Columbia Pictures bought the rights to The Limit with a commitment from Tobey Maguire who would play Phil Hill, the lowly Santa Monica mechanic who eventually won the Formula One World Championship. Word reached me in New York that Maguire’s resemblance to Hill impressed the studio folks. Uncanny, they said. I don’t see it, but whatever. Columbia recently chose to let their option lapse, so all bets are off. For me, it’s been an education in the mysterious ways of Hollywood.

In December Tobey Maguire will appear in The Great Gatsby with Leo DiCaprio. Naturally, my greatest wish would be for them to reunite in The Limit with DiCaprio playing the ebullient but doomed German Count Wolfgang von Trips.
Watch the trailer for The Limit, and learn more about the book and author at Michael T. Cannell's website.

--Marshal Zeringue