Brad Pitt, Joseph Kosinski and the Apple team for the Formula 1 racing film – The Hollywood Reporter


Brad Pitt, Joseph Kosinski and the Apple team for the Formula 1 racing film - The Hollywood Reporter

In a potentially groundbreaking deal that could affect how streamers and theatrical distributors live together, Apple struck a deal to acquire an untitled Formula 1 racing film, which has Top Gun: Maverick filmmakers Joseph Kosinsky director and Brad Pitt attached to the star, The Hollywood Reporter have learned.

The nearly five-month deal reunites Kosinski with many of his loner Team, including author Honor Krueger and producers Jerry Brueckheimer and Chad Oman from Jerry Bruckheimer Filmshow loner hopes to gross $1 billion or more in its theatrical run. All are back in equal capacity for the racing project and are joined by Sir Lewis Hamiltonthe seven-time F1 World Champion who will co-produce Plan B banners with Pitts.

Key to the deal is a theatrical distribution component. But rather than a token release in a small number of theaters or a day-and-date opening, the film would have an exclusive – and global – run of at least 30 days (one source says it could even last up to 60 days) , before going to the Apple TV+ platform. A distributor would need to come on board, and it’s unclear when one will be approached. This could happen before production, possibly lured by a sizzling reel, or perhaps after production wraps.

Apple has already released films with animated films in theaters wolfwalker Enjoy a 30 day window and The Tragedy of Macbeth got 21 days. However, these were small awards show releases, not tentpole-style extravagances.

In another premiere, insiders say the theatrical component is structured in such a way that Apple and the filmmakers would split the take from the theatrical release 50-50. The unique deal essentially pays the creative team in three ways: their upfront payments, their hefty buyout fees, and the theater backend. Sources say Kosinski, who will also produce, and Bruckheimer will see paydays in the high eight figures, with Pitt and company reaching $40-50 million. Apple had no comment.

Prior to this deal, creatives and their reps had a kind of Sophie’s choice to make: accept a buyout or push for a theatrical release? But CAA, representing Pitt, Kosinski and Bruckheimer, pushed for a different answer: Why not both?

Part of the bet here is Pitt and F1 racing. Without the box office record of Loner’s Tom Cruise, Pitt is just as big a name around the world. And F1 is a growing and sexy sport that embodies a certain kind of enviable lifestyle. The other bet is the theatrical experience, which transports audiences to a place most have never been before: in a single-seater racing car. As well as loner and Kosinski generate praise for real-world, hands-on effects that put the audience in the cockpit of an F-14, the goal being to put the viewer behind the controls of what is essentially a rocket ship on a track.

The idea for the project came from Kosinski, who after years proved to be a spark of ideas top gun Bog with a light bulb of a concept Cruise hired to make a sequel. The filmmaker had met Hamilton briefly through Cruise during the making of loner, and when he decided to go ahead with his idea, CAA and his management company, Grandview, organized a meeting at the San Vincente Bungalows with Bruckheimer, Hamilton, and his manager, Penni Thow, where things began to crystallize. A search for a writer followed, with an initial loner Scribe Kruger is selected before a fateful meeting between Kosinski and Pitt just before Thanksgiving, where Kosinski convinces the actor to join the racing crew for the story’s veteran driver, who is coming out of retirement to mentor a promising rookie.

In December, CAA sold the project to the studios and steamers in a tight 30-minute pitch that prompted immediate offers. It ended up being Apple, Netflix, Amazon and MGM, which were then led by Michael De Luca. (The latter executive is now in a senior film job at Warner Bros. and might be able to apply again for the distribution aspect.) Apple has come up with a theatrical commitment that, if fulfilled, could prove its worth , cornered hard to be a model for future deals, both theatrically acknowledging and Streaming are here to stay for the long run.

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Jerry Bruckheimer and Lewis Hamilton
Courtesy of Greg Williams; Courtesy of Ike Edeani

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