Eric Bana to Write, Direct and Star in Film Based on Racer Mike 'The Bike' Hailwood

Don Morley/Getty Images; Rachel Luna/Getty Images
Mike Hailwood (left), Eric Bana

The Australian actor is teaming with Robert Connolly to bring Hailwood's 1978 comeback story to the big screen.

Eric Bana will write, co-direct and star in a feature film based on Mike 'The Bike' Hailwood, regarded to be one of the greatest motorcycle racers of all time. 

Bana will pen the screenplay for the film and will co-direct with Robert Connolly, as well as starring as Hailwood. Bana's Pick Up Truck Pictures and Connolly's Arenamedia partnered together to secure the rights to Hailwood's story from his family and will center the script on Hailwood returning to the Isle of Man race in 1978 after an 11-year hiatus. 

“We are absolutely thrilled that Eric Bana and Robert Connolly have taken Mike’s story to adapt into a feature film about his historic ‘comeback’ race win,” Hailwood's widow Pauline Hailwood and their son David Hailwood said Tuesday in a statement. “We are delighted that Mike will be depicted by Eric Bana, an actor with an immense passion and knowledge of motorsports, Mike’s career, and a rider himself.” 

The late Brit became one of the greatest motorsports racers ever after winning the Isle of Man race, one of the most treacherous driving courses, 12 times. Hailwood retired at the peak of his career in 1967 and died in 1981 at the age of 40. 

Bana and Connolly reunite on the project after producing The Dry, a film based on Jane Harper's novel of the same name in which Bana also stars. 

The Australian actor made his directorial debut with the 2009 documentary Love the Beast, in which he explored his love of motorsports and his connection to his first car. 

Bana is repped by WME and Sloane, Offer, Weber & Dern. Connolly is repped by UTA and Untitled Entertainment.