- Lewis Hamilton is still seeking an 8th F1 championship, but he has already gotten a head start on his next career.
- One venture won’t stray too far from the track, as he is making a racing movie with Brad Pitt.
- We have collected more details that have emerged, including Pitt’s co-star, Damson Idris.
Megastars Brad Pitt and Lewis Hamilton are teaming up for a new Formula One movie, and more details are starting to emerge.
With the names already attached to the project, there is pressure to create a great film, but that hasn’t scared the seven-time F1 champ.
“I have such high hopes for it,” Hamilton said in October. “I know we’re going to make the best racing movie that’s ever existed, both visually, and we’re going to work on making sure we pull on the heartstrings of all those fans.”
Filming began at the British Grand Prix in July, with one report saying Pitt will be alone on the track in between F1 sessions.
Pitt and Hamilton are not the only big names on board to make the movie. Below, we take a look at the people associated and other details we have already learned.
What is the movie’s name, and what will it be about?
One report said the movie is expected to be titled, “Apex.” However, that original tweet from ESPN has been deleted, and other reports say Apex is just the name of Pitt’s F1 team in the movie.
So, we still don’t know the movie’s name, but we do have a general idea of the plot.
According to IMDB, the movie “follows a Formula One driver (Pitt) who comes out of retirement to mentor and team with a younger driver.”
An earlier version of the film was called “Go Like Hell.” However, that was when Tom Cruise was tied to the project.
While Cruise is no longer part of the project, he has offered to do some driving for the film.
Who is making the movie?
The movie is being made by Hamilton’s new production company, Dawn Apollo Films, and Apple’s studio arm landed the film. Apple TV is also making a documentary about Hamilton.
Apple CEO Tim Cook appears to be taking a direct interest in the making of the movie as he attended the US Grand Prix in Austin, where he met with Pitt and Hamilton and waved the checkered flag to end the race.
The movie will be directed by Joseph Kosinski, who was behind the recent blockbuster, “Top Gun: Maverick,” which was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture. Jerry Bruckheimer, who produced both “Top Gun” movies and the popular NASCAR hit, “Days of Thunder,” will do the same on this one.
Some of the technology used to make the “Top Gun” sequel will also be used in this F1 movie.
“I was particularly impressed by the technology they showed us,” Haas team principal Gunther Steiner said in October. “They used it to do ‘Maverick,’ I didn’t know that this existed, so I think they are the best out there at the moment to do something like this.”
Some of that tech will be the tiny 6K cameras they built specifically for “Top Gun: Maverick,” which allowed footage to be filmed inside the cockpits of the planes. We can assume we will see similar views in the F1 movie.
Pitt will drive a modified F2 car, and his team name will be Apex. Pitt reportedly logged over 1,000 km in the car while training in France.
“Top Gun: Maverick” writer Ehren Kruger will fill the same role in this film, although it sounds like he is already getting help from Pitt and Hamilton.
“It’s a cool project,” Hamilton, who is also listed as a producer and advisor, said in June. “We’re already working on the script, for example … which is fun, spending good time with Brad, which is pretty epic.”
When will the movie be released?
We don’t have an official release date for the movie yet. However, considering the names involved and other similarities to “Top Gun: Maverick,” we can guestimate a similar timeline.
Filming began during the 2023 season at the British Grand Prix. Here is a look at the car for Pitt’s fictional F1 team on the track before the race.
And here is the garage they set up at the British Grand Prix just for Pitt’s fictional team.
According to F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali, more filming will take place at various locations during the F1 season to capture real drivers in action. According to Motorsport, Cook, Pitt, and Hamilton met with F1 team bosses about the project and their involvement in making the film.
According to Deadline, “Top Gun: Maverick” took almost a year to complete the principal photography. The release date was originally scheduled for three months after that (it was later delayed due to the COVID pandemic).
In a “potentially game-changing deal,” Apple TV will first distribute the movie in theaters, according to The Hollywood Reporter. It will be exclusively in theaters for at least 30 days before hitting Apple TV+.
If all goes well and this movie follows a similar timeline as “Maverick,” we should be able to expect the film to hit theaters sometime late in 2024 or early 2025.
Who is starring in the movie?
Pitt will star as the main character, Sonny Hayes, an F1 driver who comes out of retirement to mentor a younger driver.
According to Pitt, his character starts driving in F1 in the 1990s when he “has a horrible crash, kind of craps out and disappears.” Hayes then left F1 to compete in other disciplines of motorsports.
IMDB also lists Hamilton as part of the cast, although it seems like any presence he has in front of the camera will be limited to on-track action, along with other current F1 drivers.
“I don’t plan to be in it, no,” Hamilton told the media in June, adding later: “It’s going to take us drivers to be involved in [filming the on-track action]. But we’re not actors … We don’t want this movie to be crap, which is probably why I’m not going to be part of it also.”
Hamilton is helping with casting, and the first step was finding Pitt’s co-star.
After some intense driving auditions, the producers picked Damson Idris, according to Deadline. Idris is best known for his lead role in the FX series “Snowfall.” He will play a character named Joshua Pearce.
Hamilton previously spoke about the process of picking Idris.
“We’re going through a process right now of selecting the character that will be alongside Brad, which is exciting,” Hamilton said. “We have recordings of them doing certain scenes, and we got through it. I’ve sat in the office with Jerry and Joe and Brad, and we’ve been watching them and kind of given our inputs and what we think.”
Pitt also revealed that he is recruiting former F1 driver and current commentator Martin Brundle to be in the movie and that Javier Bardem will play the team’s owner in the film. In addition, Kerry Condon from “Better Call Saul” and “The Banshees of Inisherin” will play the team’s technical director.
While we don’t know who else will land roles in the film, you can be sure the cast will be diverse, something Hamilton has worked on with F1 in real life.
“I think my responsibility is to make sure it is diverse,” Hamilton said. “I want to make the movie, in terms of having diversity and representation. I want it to be as Formula 1 should be in the future — or should be now, but will be in the future.”