At the start of the 1970s, Steve McQueen was one of the world’s most beloved movie stars, and his 1971 racing drama Le Mans, about the 24-hour race in France, became one of his greatest passions — and one of his most complicated productions. A lifelong racing fan, McQueen clashed with executives and director John Sturges, and the production was troubled further by the dissolution of McQueen’s marriage and a crash by driver David Piper, who lost part of his leg in an accident on set. Even when Le Mans finally made it to theaters, it was a box office flop.
The trailer for the documentary Steve McQueen: The Man & Le Mans takes a look at McQueen’s dedication to the film through new behind-the-scenes footage and exclusive interviews, examining how such a troubled production became a racing classic. “I don’t think there’s any race driver that could really tell you why he races,” McQueen says in the trailer. “But I think he could probably show you.”
The documentary, directed by Gabriel Clarke and John McKenna, debuted at Cannes earlier this year and will open in theaters on Nov. 13.