Eric Bana to immortalise Hailwood 1978 TT comeback on film

| | TT and Roads
Picture: Miller Family Archive

What has been tagged as the greatest comeback of all time – Mike Hailwood’s return, and victory, in the 1978 TT – is to be made into a movie.

Australian film star Eric Bana, who starred in the Star Trek reboot, Troy, Munich and two Hulk movies, will produce it and play the lead role.

Mike’s wife Pauline told “We are very excited about it. Eric is very passionate about it and a keen biker. Dave (Mike’s son David) met with Eric and Rob Connolly a couple of years ago in the Isle of Man and were very impressed.

“I understand it will be more than just a ‘comeback’ film but more about Mike ‘the man’ and have much more story to it.”

It is worth remembering that Hailwood started racing when 17 and a year later finished third in the 1958 Isle of Man 250cc class. He had never ridden there before and he was competing, on the Clypse circuit, against greats like Tarquinio Provini.

Ten years and many TT wins and world titles later he switched to four wheels, drove with considerable success for as number of top teams in F5000 and F1 and won the European F2 title,

However, a big crash causing a serious leg injury forced his retirement. He and his family lived in New Zealand for a while but when the opportunity to make a return to his old passion came up he grabbed it with both hands.

It was to be the 1978 TT some 20 years after his debut. There was no shortage of machinery on offer but it was a Ducati 750 provided by Manchester dealer Steve Wynn which took the now 38 year old to victory in the F750 event beating his old rival Phil Read on a Honda.

History was made and that is why he will be remembered by racing fans the world over as the greatest of all time.