Brad Pitt is gearing up to return to production on his newest film, in which he’ll play an F1 driver. The upcoming F1 movie will be directed by Top Gun: Maverick’s Joe Kosinski. And while the official title of the film is still unknown, it’s already generating a lot of buzz due to the involvement of Formula 1 itself.
Here’s everything we know about the upcoming F1 movie.
The Latest News on the F1 Movie Latest
With Top Gun: Maverick’s Joe Kosinski at the helm and seven-time F1 champion Lewis Hamilton serving as executive producer. F1 president and chief executive Stefano Domenicali commented on the film, saying that the opportunity to make the film was just “too good to turn down.”
“When we were approached about the possibility of this movie, I thought it would be another fantastic way for fans to see what an amazing sport we have and to hopefully open it up to an even wider audience than we have now,” said Domenicali, who added that they made clear that the movie should be as authentic as possible when it comes to featuring the sport.
The FIA, which is the F1’s governing body, said it was working closely with Kosinski and his team. And, FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem said they were doing what they could to help ensure the production can “achieve something both they and the sport itself can be proud of.”
“We have been able to work together to provide unprecedented access to live moments,” said Sulayem. “Which I am sure has never been done before at this level in a filming project.”
Kosinski also serves as a producer for the Apple TV+ feature with Hamilton under his Dawn Apollo Films production. Jerry Bruckheimer of Jerry Bruckheimer Films and Chad Oman of Plan B Entertainment are also film producers on the project. Additionally, Ehren Kruger, who also wrote Top Gun: Maverick, penned the script for the F1 movie.
The Cast of the Upcoming F1 Movie
The F1 movie stars Brad Pitt as the fictional F1 driver Sonny Hayes. Damson Idris also stars, playing fellow F1 driver Joshua Pearce. Javier Bardem plays a team owner. And The Crown star Tobias Menzies is also part of the film in a pivotal role.
So, the real question a lot of fans may be wondering – how are Brad Pitt’s driving skills shaping up? Lewis Hamilton had nothing but praise for Pitt’s driving. He also noted that Pitt underwent training by driving karts and open-wheel cars before the movie began filming.
“We did do a day together at a track in LA. And for someone who hadn’t raced, he’s definitely got a keen eye,” said Hamilton. “He loves watching MotoGP, so he’s always been a racing enthusiast. And you could see he has a knack for the racing lines. He was definitely fully on it, which was good to see.”
Hamilton’s Mercedes teammate George Russell described Pitt’s involvement in the movie as “surreal.”
“It’s only when you get to be with those individuals – whether it’s Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt, or Roger Federer, whoever it is you’ve been fortunate enough to meet – that you recognize they’re just normal human beings,” said Russell. “He was joking around, having a good time, and just being one of the boys.”
What’s the Movie’s Plot?
The upcoming F1 movie will center on the fictional racing team APXGP and its two drivers, Sonny Hayes and Joshua Pearce. In an interview with Sky Sports, Pitt gave an idea of what fans could expect from the film. He noted that his character, Sonny Hayes, is “a guy who raced in the ‘90s, has a horrible crash, kind of craps out, disappears, and then races in other disciplines.”
“His friend, played by Javier Bardem, is a team owner. They’re the last-place team – 21, 22 on the grid – they’ve never scored a point, have a young phenom played by Damson. And he brings me in as a kind of a Hail Mary, and high jinks ensue,” said Pitt.
Details on the Film’s Production
Racing fans can expect the film to have action sequences similar to the ones Kosinski captured for Top Gun: Maverick. According to the New York Times and photos that have surfaced from set, filming partially began at the British Grand Prix in 2023. Combined with the techniques used for Maverick, the film’s goal is for fans to feel as if they’re in the race themselves.
“The movie should be as authentic as we can get it,” said Pitt. “You’ll see the cameras mounted all over the car. The shots – you’ve never seen speed, you’ve never seen G-Forces like this. It’s really exciting.”
Hamilton also worked closely with Kosinski to ensure authenticity.
“I’ve spent time with Joe, trying to make sure we’ve got the best camera positions,” said the F1 driver. “The frame rate is different, so it’s going to look fast, faster than it does on TV. You will have seen what Joe did with the fighter jets in Top Gun: Maverick, with the dogfights, which was pretty epic. Bringing that technology and viewpoint into our world, it’s going to be amazing.”
Kosinski also shared how he was a fan of the films Grand Prix and Le Mans.
“They were captured at real races with real drivers. And that’s certainly been an inspiration for me in conceiving this project that’s been almost two years in the making,” Kosinski told the New York Times. “I like doing ambitious projects, and this one is probably the most ambitious I’ve ever taken on. Our aim is to make one of the most authentic racing films ever.”
F1 Movie Release Date
As for when the F1 movie will be released? It’s still unclear. Filming had partially begun at the 2023 British Grand Prix. Before the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes, production was scheduled to start in early July through November of 2023. Fortunately, as the strikes have been resolved, production is expected to resume in mid-January 2024.
They are set to film in Towcester, UK, Moygorod in Hungary, Italy, and Daytona, Florida, under the working title “APEX.” With filming resuming in January, fans can look forward to the movie coming out in 2025.
Production for the F1 movie seemingly went rocky after rumors of sponsorship issues would make hundreds of hours of footage useless. Formula 1 denied the rumors and made clear that the footage is still “relevant” and the movie stays on schedule.
“The movie is still on schedule for its original 2025 release timeframe. All footage captured this year is relevant. The movie will continue shooting at Grand Prix in 2024, with Brad and Damson driving actual cars on track for racing sequences. The movie will ensure continuity with the 2023 F1 season in footage captured in 2024,” said an F1 spokesperson in a statement to Jalopnik.
We’ll keep you updated as more news on the upcoming film becomes available.