Patrick Dempsey, Jeff Zwart bring authenticity to The Art of Racing in the Rain movie

Turning novels successfully into film has evaded many a director, but with an A-list cast and Simon Curtis leading the crew, The Art of Racing in the Rain is primed to bring authentic racing experience to Hollywood production. And combined with Garth Stein’s beautiful story of an apex-loving dog-named Enzo (it’s just something in our eyes, we’re fine, really) the movie promises to bring big emotion.

A key in the production and making the film authentic is producer Patrick Dempsey, paired with second-unit director (and Pikes Peak racing legend) Jeff Zwart. The team leverages both of their racing experiences, including four 24 Hours of Le Mans races in the driver’s seat for Dempsey, to help the film maintain the feel and look that it should.

The Art of Racing in the Rain

Dempsey believes the action will hold the interest of a general audience and the die-hard race fan. And for that, he credits Zwart.

“Jeff is here, and he understands racing,” Dempsey said. “He’s also visually so wonderful at being able to evoke the emotion that you feel in the car and the experience in racing. For us, that would be the biggest compliment, if (race fans) walk away going: ‘We’re really happy with this. The racing is true and honest and has the right feeling.’

The film has been in development for 10 years, but the filming was a 58-day endeavor, according to Dempsey. With such a tight schedule, filming took place around Vancouver, British Columbia, with on-track scenes at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park. The detail didn’t stop at using active IMSA race cars. Even the pit crews are the real deal, which the film team cited as making the overall look that much more believable and genuine.

The storyline follows the racing career and family life of a racecar driver, all told through the eyes of his loyal dog, Enzo. The book is a quick, yet nevertheless powerful read that we recommend enjoying before watching the movie.

A release date is yet to be announced, but current predictions are within the 2019 calendar year.

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