After recently announcing a multi-title development deal, Noah Media Group & Sky Studios have today revealed the details of an upcoming feature documentary centred around the story of Formula One legends, Gilles Villeneuve & Didier Pironi, in collaboration with Sky Italia.

The film focuses on the infamous 1982 F1 season, where the two rival Ferrari teammates had both the talent and the car to win the World Title. However, one of the most controversial moments in the history of the sport would set in motion a chain of events that meant neither would be able to realize that dream.

On the final laps of the Italian Grand Prix, Pironi passed Villeneuve to win the race. To Didier this was a racing move. To Gilles, it was an unexpected act that went completely against the team orders he thought both drivers were obeying. It became known as “The Betrayal”. The two racers would never speak again.

Two generations of both families will contribute to the film: Gilles’ children Melanie Villeneuve and former F1 World Champion Jacques Villeneuve; and Didier’s children, who were named after the two drivers, Gilles Pironi and Didier Pironi.  Leading contributions will also come from the two partners of the drivers, Gilles’ wife Joann Villeneuve, and Didier’s partner, Catherine Goux. The film will also feature some of the biggest names in Formula One history.

Production has now commenced ahead of a planned late 2022 release, with filming locations including the UK, Canada, France and Italy. The film will be directed by Torquil Jones (14 Peaks: Nothing Is Impossible, Bobby Robson: More Than a Manager), and produced by John McKenna (14 Peaks: Nothing Is Impossible, Finding Jack Charlton) as well as former Formula One driver Mark Webber. The film will premiere on Sky Documentaries and streaming service NOW in the UK, Italy and Germany. NBCUniversal Global Distribution will handle international sales of the documentary on behalf of Sky Studios.

Producer & Noah CEO John McKenna said: ‘We are extremely privileged and grateful to both the Villeneuve and Pironi families for putting their trust in Noah Media Group to tell this truly remarkable story of two incredible men.  This will be a film with huge emotion and drama at its heart and we believe it will be the perfect start to our relationship with Sky Studios.’

Sky Studios Director of Factual, Barney Shingleton added: “It is fantastic to see our partnership with Noah Media bearing fruit with such an exceptional film, and I hope that this is the first of many premium documentaries we can bring to Sky’s European customers.”

Roberto Pisoni, Sky Italia Director of Entertainment Channels, said: “We are happy to announce this beautiful project, together with Noah and Sky Studios, which tells the human and sports story that still today, after almost 40 years, remains one of the most controversial and passionate moments in the history of Formula 1. With ‘Villeneuve & Pironi’, thanks to the exclusive contribution of those who were closest to the drivers, we tell the story of two great champions, whose relationship was pushed to the limit, on and off the track.”

Picture Credit : Motorsport Images

Jon Creamer

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