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Charles Leclerc to star in 'Le Grand Rendez-Vous'

C'etait un Rendez-Vous set for resurrection in Monaco with Leclerc and an SF90 Stradale

By Matt Bird / Friday, May 22, 2020

File this one under "unexpected" for a Friday afternoon. This Sunday, Ferrari F1 driver Charles Leclerc will be involved in a remake of cult favourite C'etait Rendezvous, with the original director, Claude Lelouch, behind the camera. The car? A Ferrari SF90 Stradale. Shame to see the streets go to waste, after all, what with no Monaco GP this weekend...

Hang on, you might be thinking, this isn't right - that film was in Paris. And you'd be correct, with Claude Lelouch's 1976 original - where a Mercedes 450 SEL was razzed through city streets to a meeting with Lelouch's girlfriend - was set in the French capital. So, it's not a historically accurate remake; though given that Lelouch failed to get Paris shut in 1976 (and got himself in lots of trouble for going ahead with production), it certainly wasn't going to happen in 2020, even with coronavirus taking over.

Monaco, though? Its streets are closed every year for a weekend at the end of May for perhaps the most famous GP there is. As the Ferrari press release says: "Some appointments in the calendar cannot be forgotten... they cry out to be honoured and transformed into an opportunity." With the race cancelled, but the tarmac very much still available, the plan was hatched for an homage to be made: Lelouch to direct, Leclerc to drive. (Which, as it happens, is a nice parallel with the original, because it was widely believed that the guy behind the wheel was actually F1 star Jacques Laffite.)

There's more significance to this weekend than just a potentially awesome end result, too, because 'Le Grand Rendez-Vous' will be the first post-lockdown film shoot in France. According to Maranello, Ferrari "welcomed partnership in the film as a way of demonstrating support for its tifosi, clients and supporters as an expression of hope that the world will gradually be able to absorb the painful and complex health crisis which has affected everyone".

Which, of course, is all very good. But if the film is done how we're imagining it - i.e. without any dodgy dubbing over the top this time - this production will comprise little more than one of F1's most exciting talents, a legendary producer, closed Monegasque streets and a 1,000hp Ferrari. It should want for nothing more. We're looking forward to the premiere already...

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