Part of what makes the Oscar-nominated documentary The Cove so riveting is that the film is treated like an espionage thriller. And we can probably thank screenwriter Mark Monroe for much of its exciting narrative. Whether as a writer, director or producer, Monroe tends to work on documentaries with a sporting or adventuring edge. Prior to The Cove, he'd been involved with docs and series about soccer teams, boxing, basketball and sailing. His most recent film, Amir Bar-Lev's Sundance hit The Tillman Story, tackles the story of a pro football player turned tragic war hero.

Monroe's next sport to document is Formula One racing, according to Variety. He'll write the currently untitled project for occasional collaborator Paul Crowder, a filmmaker who also has a background in sports documentaries, having co-directed Once in a Lifetime: The Extraordinary Story of the New York Cosmos and edited Stacy Peralta's Riding Giants and Dogtown and Z-Boys and Monroe's own Morning Light. The duo doesn't solely film sports movies, though. Monroe and Crowder just recently worked together, for instance, on a documentary about Silicon Valley pioneers William Shockley and Robert Noyce (titled The Real Revolutionaries).

Producer Michael Shevloff says the goal is to come up with a "bigscreen action documentary experience," and here's hoping the word "action" was emphasized. While the film could theoretically play well to the millions of auto racing fans throughout the U.S., I wonder if Formula One is actually that widely embraced by our country of NASCAR enthusiasts. All I can think of is how the villain in Talladega Nights is an F1 driver. Meanwhile, Renny Harlin and Sylvester Stallone's F1 movie, Driven, was a flop abroad as well as in America.

Obviously I know little about the sport, but I'm optimistic this film will change that. I didn't know anything about dolphin slaughter in Japan before The Cove, either. But that film wasn't just about educating the audience about its tragic cause; it was also an exhilarating and heart-wrenching action-drama. I anticipate that Monroe and Crowder's doc on Formula One will be just as entertaining.
CATEGORIES Cinematical