Big screen adaptation of Mike Hailwood’s famed TT win slated for 2021

The film adaptation of Mike Hailwood's iconic 1978 Isle of Man TT comeback victory starring Eric Bana will hit screens in 2021, the Australian actor says

Mike Hailwood

Australian actor and director Eric Bana has offered up more details about his plans to take the story of Mike Hailwood’s famous victory in the 1978 Isle of Man TT all the way to the big screen.

Earlier this year it was announced Bana - who has starred in a number of high-grossing films including Black Hawk Down and Troy - has acquired the rights to ‘Mike the Bike’ to adapt into a movie he will both direct and star as Hailwood.

Though progress on the film has been stalled by the coronavirus pandemic, Bana says production will begin soon with a release date slated for 2021.

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Considered one of the greatest racers of all time as one of only a few to compete successfully at the highest levels of both two and four wheel competition, it is the story of Hailwood’s famous winning return to action on the Isle of Man TT in 1978 after an 11-year hiatus that forms the basis of the screenplay Bana has written.

As well as securing the rights to the story, Bana has also received the blessing from the Hailwood family, including Mike’s wife Pauline Hailwood, who sadly passed away in June.

“I’ve been working on the screenplay for the last couple of years, and it is essentially the story of Mike’s comeback,” Bana told the Rusty’s Garage podcast. “I’m not looking to tell the story of his life. It’s a very particular idea that I have that I’d like to pursue,” he said.

“We feel that indebted to the Hailwood family, in particular Pauline, who unfortunately recently passed away. Her contribution has been immense.”

“[The delay] doesn’t change the desire, it doesn’t change the kind of film that I want to make, it doesn’t change the pitch that I gave to the Hailwood family. All those things remain intact. The script won’t change. We’ll just do everything we can to turn it into an actual movie rather than just a chance.”