Ferrari producer defends Adam Driver casting following backlash

adam driver, ferrari
Ferrari producer defends Adam Driver castingEros Hoagland - Sky

A producer on new movie Ferrari has defended the casting of Adam Driver following a backlash.

The recently-premiered film sees the Oscar-nominee take on the role of the famed Italian founder of the iconic car brand.

However, the choice of an American actor to play the role has attracted criticism from some in the Italian movie industry, with actor Pierfrancesco Favino labelling the move "cultural appropriation".

adam driver, ferrari trailer
STX Entertainment

Related: First trailer for Adam Driver's new movie Ferrari

Questioning why many Italian stars weren't cast in Hollywood movies, he said recently: "Instead, the parts are given to foreign actors who are distant from the story's real protagonists, starting with the exotic accents.

"If a Cuban can't play a Mexican, why can an American play an Italian? It only happens with us. In another time (Vittorio) Gassman would have played Ferrari. Now, Driver does it and no one says anything," he added, arguing Hollywood has "an attitude of contempt towards the Italian system".

He also took aim at the casting of 2021's House of Gucci, which included Driver as Italian Maurizio Gucci.

adam driver, ferrari
Eros Hoagland - Sky

Related: Adam Driver criticises Netflix and Amazon over strikes

However, speaking at the Venice Film Festival, Ferrari producer Andrea Iervolino hit back, suggesting Italian stars needed greater global visibility in "order to play the lead roles in films that cost around $100 million to make, such as Ferrari".

He added (via The Daily Telegraph): "Italian cinema needs to look beyond Italy and come up with synergies with the international film industry, which wants to invest in Italian icons.

"Films like Ferrari, which will be distributed in 150 countries, promote Italy and Italian genius."

Iervolino further suggested that the Italian movie industry needs to "make films based on stories that speak to the whole world, with international stars who work side by side with our own talent".

Ferrari is released in UK cinemas on December 26 and will be available to watch on Sky Cinema in 2024.

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