Apple Studios has locked in Joseph Kosinski, the director of “Top Gun: Maverick,” to direct its Formula One movie starring Brad Pitt, Apple confirmed on Tuesday.
The untitled movie’s plot would center around Pitt as a driver who comes out of retirement to compete alongside a rookie, according to an Apple release. The movie features a script by “Top Gun: Maverick” Ehren Kruger, and seven-time F1 champion Lewis Hamilton is named as one of the producers.
Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc at the 2022 Formula One Miami Grand Prix
Kosinski decided to pursue an F1 movie after a meeting with Hamilton that was arranged by “Maverick” star Tom Cruise, according to the The Hollywood Reporter. Apple also has a deal to release a Hamilton documentary on its Apple TV+ streaming service.
While the movie is expected to stream on Apple TV+, it will also get a theatrical release, which was a key component of the deal between the filmmakers and Apple, according to The Hollywood Reporter. A release date hasn’t been announced.
This will be Pitt and Kosinski’s second attempt at a motorsports film. Deadline noted that the pair tried to produce a movie based on the book “Go Like Hell,” retelling Ford’s battle with Ferrari at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, with Pitt playing Carroll Shelby. That project ultimately became “Ford v. Ferrari,” with James Mangold directing and Matt Damon playing Shelby.
2022 Formula One Saudi Arabian Grand Prix
The Netflix documentary series “Drive to Survive” has stirred more interest in F1, but theatrically-released movies of the sport have been few and far between.
John Frankenheimer’s 1966 “Grand Prix” was a critical and commercial success, but F1 largely stayed off the silver screen until 2013’s “Rush,” which told the story of the 1976 championship battle between James Hunt and Niki Lauda. Sylvester Stallone allegedly wanted to make F1 the subject of 2001’s “Driven”—which also featured a veteran driver coming out of retirement—but based the film on CART instead.
If the trailers for “Top Gun: Maverick” are any indication, Kosinski knows how to put audiences in the pilot’s seat of a fighter jet. Perhaps he’ll be able to do the same with F1 race cars.