Brad Pitt’s new Formula One film has reportedly veered off course following the loss of footage worth tens of millions.
Over the past year, the Hollywood star has been shooting the drama Apex, directed by Top Gun: Maverick‘s Joseph Kosinski, alongside actors Damon Idris and Javier Bardem. In the film, Pitt plays a retired driver who comes out of retirement to train a rising star.
In July, ahead of the actors’ strikes, Pitt, Idris and the film’s producers, including Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton, had attended the British Grand Prix at Silverstone where the actors drove on the track to capture scenes for the forthcoming film.
In fact, hours of footage, worth millions, was captured during the Grand Prix in an attempt to create “authenticity” and also to save costs; the idea was to utilise the high-speed races and surrounding crowd so as to avoid having to recreate the racing scenes down the line.
But, despite the conclusion of the actors’ strike, which saw the SAG-AFTRA union protest contractual clauses related to royalties and the use of AI, it’s believed the film’s sponsorship deals have been forced to change, meaning its release has reportedly stalled.
This would mean that all pre-recorded footage is no longer permitted to be used, which would essentially render Pitt, Idris and director Kosinski’s time at Silverstone a waste of time.
The Independent has contacted Apple and Pitt for comment.
A source described the alleged development toThe Sun as “a nightmare”, stating: “A lot of events had been earmarked for filming throughout the year which would have helped reduce costs rather than having to recreate high-speed moments and wide shots.
“However, with all the sponsors changing, it now makes the footage defunct. It’s gutting for Brad and Lewis who see this project as their baby.
The source continued: “Apple Studios, who are helping make the film, are far from impressed but at the end of the day, there isn’t a lot they can do.”
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After taking to the track in a junior F2 car modified to look like an F1 vehicle at Silverstone, Pitt told Sky Sports presenter Martin Brundle: “It’s great to be here. I’m having such a laugh – the time of my life.”
He said his character in the film, Sonny Hayes, was an F1 driver in the Nineties who “has a horrible crash, kind of craps out and disappears and is racing in other disciplines”.
Pitt continued: “His friend, played by Javier Bardem, is a team owner. They’re a last-placed owner, 21, 22 on the grid. They’ve never scored a point. They have a young phenom played by Damson Idris. He brings me in as a kind of Hail Mary, and hijinks ensue.
“Tell you what’s amazing about it. You’ll see the cameras mounted all over the car. You’ve never seen speed, you’ve never seen the G-forces like this. it’s really amazing.”
He added that driving around the circuit was “humbling”: “I don’t know if you could call mine a hot lap, I’d call it kind of a warm lap.”