Barrie M. Osborne has signed up as producer of the planned biopic of New Zealand Formula One racing driver Bruce McLaren.

Osborne, whose credits include the Lord Of The Rings trilogy and The Matrix, will work alongside co-producer and motor racing fanatic Michael Garlick, for whom the project has been a long-standing ambition.

The budget is expected to be around $100m, financed by a group of private New Zealand-based investors. Production financing and global distribution is being handled by Osborne.

The film aims to capture the story of how McLaren, who was crippled with a hip joint problem as a child, established the the professional racing team, which still bears his name.

Osborne and Garlick are hoping the enduring global profile of the McLaren name will attract international attention.

Continued development of the film and pre-production will take up all of 2007, with a projected filming commencement date of early 2008.