Apple Signs Another Movie Deal with Brad Pitt, This Time for a Formula One Racing Flick

Brad Pitt Formula One Credit: Joe Seer / ZRyzner / Shutterstock
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There’s been no shortage of big-name talent willing to cast their lot in with Apple TV+ as of late, and now it looks like Brad Pitt will be joining up with Apple’s team for another original film, scoring the first big film package deal for 2022.

According to Deadline, Apple has been in exclusive negotiations for the new film, which will feature Brad Pitt as a Formula One (F1) racer who comes out of retirement to mentor a younger driver and participate in one last big race.

Although the bulk of the appeal for the film comes from having Pitt’s name attached to it, there’s some pretty serious talent behind it too. This includes not only Top Gun: Maverick director Joseph Kosinski, but also Jerry Bruckheimer, who has produced dozens of hit films, including Top Gun, Crimson Tide, Pearl Harbor, Beverly Hills Cop, Flashdance, and Pirates of the Caribbean.

Brad Pitt, of course, has also racked up several Academy Award nominations over the years, as well as two wins: Best Picture for 12 Years a Slave in 2014, and most recently Best Supporting Actor for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. His production company, Plan B Entertainment, will also be producing alongside Bruckheimer.

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The film package was put on the market last weekend, and was unsurprisingly pounced on by several major studios and streaming services, including Paramount, MGM, Sony, Universal, Netflix, and Amazon. Apple won the day, however, with a bid in the $130 to $140 million range, not including above-the-line compensation.

Interestingly, Deadline notes that Pitt and Kosinski have previously tried to make a racing movie together — a title that would have been called Go Like Hell. In that film, Pitt would have played Carroll Shelby in what was envisioned as The Right Stuff on the racetrack. It’s unclear why that project was scrapped, however Shelby’s story was already told in Ford V Ferrari, where Matt Damon played Shelby.

It seems the new Apple TV+ racing movie, which doesn’t yet have a title, will take an entirely different tack, however, likely based upon entirely fictional characters.

This is the second Apple TV+ deal involving Pitt, following close on the heels of a deal in September that will pair him up with George Clooney. There aren’t too many details about that particular film yet, except that it’s being written, directed, and produced by Jon Watts of the Marvel Spider-Man trilogy, and Clooney and Pitt will also be serving as executive producers. The duo will portray two lone wolf “fixers” assigned to the same job.

There’s no word yet on whether Pitt’s racing movie will see a theatrical release before it hits Apple TV+, but that seems likely, as this is fast becoming the norm for streaming deals. Apple needs to release films in theatres first if it wants to win Academy Awards, and of course most of the big Hollywood stars and producers want to be seen on the big screen.

The global health pandemic put this on hold of course, with theatres shuttered, which is actually what led to Apple scoring the rights to movies like Tom Hanks’ Greyhound. Even so, Hanks called it an “absolute heartbreak” that his film didn’t make its debut in theatres.

It’s already been established that the Clooney/Pitt collaboration will see a theatrical release, as will several of the other high-profile projects that Apple has acquired over the past couple of years. This includes Will Smith’s Emancipation, Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon, and spy thriller Argyle, each of which is expected to cost Apple $200 million or more by the time they’re in the can.

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