JANUARY 8, 2007

A McLaren movie?

We are hearing whispers from New Zealand of plans for a movie to be based on the life of Bruce McLaren and produced by some of those involved in the Oscar-winning "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy. The films were so successful that New Zealand had benefited hugely from an influx of tourists and the director Peter Jackson has been propelled to the position of being a major player in Hollywood with his own studio called Wingnut Films. He followed up the trilogy with a remake of King Kong, which has been another big success, and is now working on various projects including a remake of The Dambusters, a film called Those Lovely Bones and a film based on the video game Halo.

What is not clear is whether Jacxkson is involved in the McLaren project or whether it is others who are keen to continue to growth of the New Zealand film industry.

We expect an announcement soon.

Bruce McLaren was the pioneer of New Zealanders racing in Europe and won his first Grand Prix at the age of just 22. He started his own racing team in 1964 and entered F1 in 1966. That year was hard in F1 but McLaren won the Le Mans 24 Hours. The team expanded dramatically with cars in F1, CanAm, USAC and Formula 2 and in 1968 the team won its first F1 victories. McLaren finished third in the World Championship in 1969 but in June 1970 was killed while testing a McLaren CanAm car at Goodwood. The company lived on to become one of the foremost racing teams in the world.