Update: 3:25 PM on 11/15/2023: A Formula 1 spokesperson denied these allegations in a correspondence with R&T. The series states that there has been no change to any of the sponsors involved in the movie, and that all remain committed for the duration of the project. Furthermore, F1 reiterated plans for Pitt and his co-starts to hit the track during more Grand Prix in 2024, which it maintains has been planned for quite some time and not solely the result of the SAG strike. "All footage captured this year is relevant," F1 relayed via email, adding that "the movie will ensure continuity with the 2023 F1 season in footage captured in 2024." The series states that the film is still on track for 2025, which it claims is part of the original release timeframe.
Brad Pitt and crew are being forced to leave a large portion of the racing footage they captured for their upcoming F1 film on the cutting room floor, due to what The Sun is calling sponsorship issues following the SAG-AFTRA strike.
According to the British tabloid, sponsorship deals inked with various companies ahead of the actors’ strike have changed, leaving the production company with a suite of footage that is no longer viable. Pitt and his compatriots spent the first half of this year’s F1 season traveling alongside the series regulars, which was done in an effort to capture some genuine speed and racing on film for the project. This not only aimed to help bring a more realistic look to the film, but would’ve helped cut production costs associated with recreating that sort of on-track action.
“However, with all the sponsors changing it now makes the footage defunct,” an unnamed source told The Sun.
The still unnamed Apple Studios film is being directed by “Top Gun: Maverick” helmsman Joseph Kosinsk, who Pitt previously teamed up with to tell the Ford vs Ferrari story before the James Mangold film got rolling. Pitt stars as fictional driver Sonny Hayes, who leaves the sport after suffering from a particularly nasty crash. The film will follow along as Hayes is brought back into the sport years on from his retirement, serving as a mentor to a young and talented driver. Seven time F1 World Champion Lewis Hamilton is also involved in the project, serving as an executive producer alongside Jerry Bruckheimer. The pair will have a lot to figure out if the sponsorship situation remains as tenuous as reported, though hopefully the challenges aren’t so great that the film doesn’t continue.
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