Three NASCAR Cup Series drivers will make their big movie debuts next week in the movie Stuber.
Richard Childress Racing’s Austin Dillon, Germain Racing’s Ty Dillon and Stewart-Haas Racing’s Daniel Suarez each make appearances in the movie, which stars Kumail Nanjiani (The Big Sick) and Dave Bautista (Guardians of the Galaxy).
Here’s the synopsis for the film, which debuts July 12:
“When a mild-mannered Uber driver named Stu (Kumail Nanjiani) picks up a passenger (Dave Bautista) who turns out to be a cop hot on the trail of a brutal killer, he’s thrust into a harrowing ordeal where he desperately tries to hold onto his wits, his life and his five-star rating.”
The movie is the third acting credit for Austin Dillon. He appeared as himself on the TV show Nashville in 2014 and was in an episode of the show Rosewood in 2017.
It is the second acting credit for both Ty Dillon and Suarez. Dillon portrayed himself in an episode of the cartoon Milo Murphy’s Law last year while Suarez voiced the character Danny Swervez in Cars 3 in 2017.
You can see a glimpse of the driver’s performances in the below video.
Back in the yesteryear of 1986, Paramount Pictures released a little movie called Top Gun.
Directed by Tony Scott and starring a young actor named Tom Cruise, the movie depicted a hot-shot, hard-headed fighter pilot named Pete “Maverick” Mitchell who competed for supremacy at an aviation school against a rival nicknamed “Ice Man.”
Backed by the sounds of Kenny Loggins, the Righteous Brothers and Cheap Trick, the two rivals clashed in the skies and on volleyball courts, all while Maverick flirted with a his female instructor, Kelly McGillis’ “Charlie.”
The movie made a lot of money.
Three years later, they made the same movie … sort of. This time, Cruise was piloting stock cars in the world of NASCAR.
Twenty-seven years ago today, Days of Thunder roared into theaters on matched perfect and staggered special tires.
Once again directed by Scott and with the same golden color palate from Top Gun, Cruise portrayed Cole Trickle as he faced off with Michael Rooker’s Rowdy Burns, clashed egos with Robert Duvall’s Harry Hogge and did some more flirting, this time with his doctor, played by Nicole Kidman.
It didn’t make a lot of money, grossing $82 million domestically to Top Gun‘s $176 million.
But who cares?
Almost 30 years later, it’s still the closest fictional representation of NASCAR that’s ever graced the silver screen (we don’t need to mention a certain Will Farrell movie).
Was it completely faithful to stock-car racing?
Of course not, especially since there’s nothin’ stock about a stock car.
Did it have a have bizarre editing that made it look like a race was taking place at Daytona, Darlington and another track at the same time?
Did the late Bobby Hamilton make his first Cup start driving a car used in the movie?
It’s true! Hamilton qualified third at Phoenix in the No. 51 Chevrolet owned by Hendrick Motorsports and even led five laps.
As absurd as the move could get, Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel gave the movie a positive review. Decades later, Days of Thunder had enough authenticity to have an impact on those in the sport today.
“Makes you feel old, doesn’t it?” Dale Earnhardt Jr. told the New York Times in 2010, the movie’s 20th anniversary. “It was interesting to see our sport be put into the mainstream and be a part of that. I think it did a lot for our sport to be honest with you even though the critics weren’t solid on the movie and lot of people had different opinions about it. It got our sport a lot of exposure. The movie was fun to watch, regardless of whether it’s good or not.”
Four years ago, Kurt Busch paid tribute to the movie by racing one of the paint scheme’s from the movie in the July Xfinity race at Daytona.
Then there’s his brother, Kyle.
Kyle Busch goes by the nickname “Rowdy,” which was the name of Rooker’s character in the movie.
Two years ago, the Joe Gibbs Racing driver, his crew chief Adam Stevens, Joe Gibbs and Busch’s wife, Samantha, put their best foot forward for a recreation of the Days of Thunder trailer to promote the Crispy line of M&M’s.
Though in this video, Busch assumed the Cole Trickle role.
Two NASCAR-based documentary projects, focusing on Hendrick Motorsports and Danica Patrick, were announced this week. They will premiere later this year.
The Hendrick Motorsports project, Road to Race Day, is an eight-part series that will debut July 19 on go90.com
Produced by Complex Networks, Peter Berg’s Film 45 and Markay Media, the series documents the team’s 2016 season. The season included Chase Elliott earning the pole for the Daytona 500 in his rookie year, Dale Earnhardt Jr. missing 18 races because of a concussion and Jimmie Johnson winning his seventh Cup championship.
The project is directed by Cynthia Hill (A Chef’s Life, Private Violence) and executive produced by Peter Berg (Friday Night Lights, Patriots Day).
“At the heart of the series is a team of people who share an incredible passion for and dedication to stock car racing and a drive to win,” Berg said in a press release. “Hendrick Motorsports believed in us and gave us unparalleled access to share their story, and we’re grateful to them for inviting us into their family. Road to Race Day adds a personal dimension to the sport, and it spotlights the passionate individuals who make Hendrick Motorsports one of the most successful racing teams of all time.”
You can watch the trailer for the series above.
Also announced is the epix documentary Danica. Directed by ESPN’s Hannah Storm and debuting this fall, the documentary focuses on the career of Stewart-Haas Racing’s Danica Patrick.
According to deadline.com, the feature “will take a rare, candid look at an icon, capturing never-before-seen moments on and off the track with Danica Patrick and those closest to her.”
While Reeves will be playing a NASCAR driver, the plot of the film will not be focused on the sport itself.
Here’s the premise of the movie according to The Hollywood Reporter:
The film tells the story of a self-centered American NASCAR driver who revitalizes his career by entering an international rally car race across China and learns to win as part of a team when he joins forces with a young Chinese woman who yearns to become a driver.
Rally Car will be produced by Lionsgate, which is behind the John Wick franchise.
The film will be directed by Olivier Megaton (Taken 2, Taken 3, Colombiana) with a script written by first-timer Jeremy Lott.
Rally Car isn’t the only upcoming movie that NASCAR will be a part of.