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Brad Pitt’s New F1 Movie Aims for Authenticity

By: Angelina Wang

Over the past two years, Joseph Kosinski, director of the award-winning movie Top Gun: Maverick, has been working on a one-of-a-kind Formula 1 racing movie. Kosinski says he has always had an interest in creating a movie that will allow the audience to feel the thrill of racing with the fictional characters; he has been a long-term fan of “Grand Prix” and “Le Mans”, both movies with car racing action.

“They were captured at real races with real drivers, and that’s certainly been an inspiration for me in conceiving this project that’s been almost two years in the making,” Kosinski says.

The film — which is still untitled — has taken a long time to make, not only because of the complexity of the film plot, but also due to the realness of the footage. Kosinski wanted to make the scenes as real as possible with minimal CGI, so many of the shots are recorded at real-life races.

To help achieve this goal, Lewis Hamilton, a British racing driver currently competing in Formula One, has come onto set to help Kosinski out. The multiple-podium finisher is helping with camera positions to help with the authenticity of this much-anticipated movie.

“I’ve spent time with Joe, trying to make sure we’ve got the best camera positions. The frame rate is different, so it’s going to look fast, faster than it does on TV,” Hamilton said. “You will have seen what Joe did with the fighter jets in ‘Top Gun: Maverick,’ with the dogfights, which was pretty epic.”

Stefano Domenicali, the president of Formula 1, is involved in the makings of the movie as well. “It needs to be authentic in order to show the real Formula 1,” he says. “So the fact the scenes for the movie are being filmed during Grand Prix weekends adds drama and authenticity.”

For this reason, multiple parts of the movie are being filmed at Grand Prix, with Brad mostly driving a Formula 1 replica converted from a Formula 2 car. The cameras stacked on the car will capture different scenes, and those meticulously placed around the tracks will add to the pizzazz.

Top Gun: Maverick, Kosinski’s previous big-hit film, won awards for its sophisticated CGI. Audience also praised the bravery of the actors who were determined to bring the excitement onto the screen.

Tom Cruise flew a real plane in Top Gun: Maverick; he received his license back in 1986 for the first Top Gun movie. Add in a sprinkle of CGI, and you’ve got that magical experience viewers take part in together with the actors.

“Bringing that technology and viewpoint into our world, it’s going to be amazing,” Kosinski states excitedly.

Pitt himself has to undergo training in order to stay safe on the track in this new Formula 1 racing film. He says he has loved every second of it.

“The movies should be as authentic as we can get it,” Pitt says. “You’ll see the cameras mounted all over the car. The shots — you’ve never seen speed, you’ve never seen G-forces like this. It’s really exciting.”

Others are equally as excited for Brad to be on the scene. One driver, George Russel, said that it is “quite surreal” to work with Pitt for this splendid movie.

At Silverstone, where they hosted the first Formula One Grand Prix championship race in May 1950, Pitt also joined a drivers’ briefing where they talked about issues from previous events and concerns for the upcoming race.

The film’s two main characters, Sonny Hayes and Joshua Pearce (played by Hollywood stars Brad Pitt and Damson Idris) are part of the same car-racing team: APXGP. This team, owned by Javier Bardem’s character, isn’t doing well: they’re last place, have never scored a point, and are doing terribly in general.

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