Gabriella Martinelli'sToronto-based Capri Films will produce a bio-pic of legendary Formula 1 racerGilles Villeneuve.

Christian Duguay (The Art Of War) has signed to direct from a screenplay to bewritten by documentary filmmaker Malcolm Clarke (Prisoner Of Paradise).

The announcement was made in Montreal Thursday atthe nightclub owned by Villeneuve's son and racing heir, Jacques Villeneuve,the 1997 F1 World Champion, who will appear in the film.

Described as a story "ofspeed, of courage and of triumph over adversity", the film will begin in 1997as Villeneuve fils sets out towin the Championship.

The action will shift back in time to follow Villeneuve pere in his own preparations for what might have been aWorld Championship season in 1982. He died in May of that year after a crashduring a qualifying session for the Belgian Grand Prix.

One crucial issue for theproduction in terms of authenticity will be the cooperation of the F1organization and Ferrari, the sport's predominant team for whom bothVilleneuves drove in the periods in question.

Capri Releasing presidentTony Cianciotta told ScreenDaily such negotiations were the next item onthe agenda. "Obviously we'll do everything in our power to make the film asrealistic as possible." As for finding an international coproduction partner,he said the film was clearly a natural for Italy.

Capri recently co-produced,with Jeremy Thomas of the UK's Recorded Pictures, Terry Gilliam's feature Tideland, a Canada-UK co-production, starring Jeff Bridgesand Jennifer Tilly.

Both Martinelli and Thomas have worked with DavidCronenberg, who has long sought to make a film focusing on Ferrari's racingheritage.