Eric Bana and Rob Connolly team up for motorcycle racer biopic

Eric Bana and Robert Connolly (Photo: Rebecca Bana).

Eric Bana’s Pick Up Truck Pictures and Robert Connolly’s Arenamedia are teaming up on a feature about English Grand Prix motor racing champion Mike “The Bike” Hailwood.

Bana is writing the screenplay, will play Hailwood and co-direct the biopic with Connolly.

Once considered the greatest motorcycle racer of all time, Hailwood retired from Grand Prix competition in 1967 after winning the Isle of Man TT 12 times.

He made a comeback in 1970 in the Daytona 200 race in Florida, part of the strong BSA/Triumph team, and was leading until his car overheated.

The following year he rode for BSA in the Daytona race but again broke down. In 1978, after an 11-year break from mainstream motorcycling, he won the Isle of Man TT in Formula I.

He and his daughter Michelle died after a truck crashed into their vehicle in England in 1981. He was 40 and Michelle was nine; their son David survived.

In a joint statement his widow Pauline Hailwood and David told Deadline: “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.

“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.”

Connolly directed and Bana stars in the crime drama The Dry, adapted from the bestseller by Jane Harper, produced by Made up Stories’ Bruna Papandrea, Jodi Matterson and Steve Hutensky.

Bana made his directorial debut on the feature documentary Love the Beast, which premiered at Tribeca in 2009.