Madman Entertainment has bought Australian rights to Love The Beast, the feature-length documentary that actor Eric Bana has been directing for the past two years. It is about his life and his beloved car.

'The car owner in me is completely devastated but the director in me is completely thrilled,' Bana told Screendaily last year when he crashed the red 1974 Ford XB GT Coupe during a motor sports event in Tasmania. At the time he also said that he decided to make the documentary when he realised there was as much interest in the fact that he had owned the same car for quarter of a century as there was in his Hollywood career.

The film is in post-production and Madman is planning an early 2009 release. The happily married star of Chopper, Munich and the upcoming The Time Traveler's Wife is widely regarded as the biggest heart-throb among Australia 's contemporary A-list actors so the film can be expected to appeal to women and rev-heads alike.

'It has been both fun and incredibly exhausting at the same time and has enabled me to combine two of the things that I love: cars and filmmaking,' Bana said in a statement today. 'It started out as a simple project, but events along the way conspired to turn it into something I could never have envisioned.'

Madman managing director Paul Wiegard said Love The Beast is not only about the bond between man and car, but a remarkable journey through Bana's life as an actor with his family and mates as the cornerstones of his universe. The film is set in Melbourne, where he was born and still lives, the Tasmanian Wilderness, and the streets of New York and London.

Bana was an associate producer on the film Romulus My Father, his most recent Australian film. His production entity was Pick Up Truck Pictures at that time, but Love The Beast is produced by Patikalar Productions.