Brad Pitt’s F1 Movie Will Be Filming at Daytona’s Rolex 24
The as-yet-untitled Formula 1 movie starring Brad Pitt will be filming at the IMSA Roar Before the 24 this weekend at the Daytona International Speedway in Florida and at the Rolex 24 itself, the following weekend. An Orlando television station reported seeing Pitt on Monday night near the track. Those involved with filming have had to sign confidentiality agreements, so most of the information about the film is hearsay.
Here’s what we know: The movie, which is being co-produced by Sir Lewis Hamilton, the Formula 1 driver, and led by Top Gun: Maverick director Joseph Kosinski, has Pitt, 60, playing a race driver Sonny Hayes. Pitt said in an interview with Sky Sports at the British Grand Prix: “He has a horrible crash, kind of craps out and disappears and is racing in other disciplines … His friend, played by Javier Bardem, is a team owner. They’re a last-place team, 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.”
The movie already has filmed at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone and at the Formula 1 race in Las Vegas, using a Carlin Formula 2 car. “I’m a little giddy right now, I’ve got to say,” Pitt told Sky Sports. “It’s great to be here. Having such a laugh, time of my life.”
So what is a team filming a Formula 1 movie doing at a sports car race? Presumably, capturing footage for the “other discipline” that Pitt talked about in the interview. Pitt’s character may be racing at Daytona, possibly alongside the rookie driver played by Idris, whose character’s name is Joshua Pearce. Pitt said in the Sky Sports interview that his character raced at Daytona, as well as in the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Jerry Bruckheimer, 80, is the lead producer. He’s responsible for a long line of films including Days of Thunder, Flashdance, Top Gun, The Rock, Crimson Tide, Con Air, Armageddon, Enemy of the State, Black Hawk Down, Pearl Harbor, as well as the Beverly Hills Cop, Bad Boys, Pirates of the Caribbean, and National Treasure franchises.
The Daytona Beach News-Journal confirmed that the movie will be shooting at a surf shop in Daytona Beach and at a restaurant in New Smyrna Beach, in between the Roar and the Rolex 24 weekend, which is January 26–28.
Racer magazine reports that the film has struck an agreement with an actual race-car team competing in the GT Daytona class. Their car will carry the livery, and presumably cameras, for the film crew. The car is expected to mix in with other cars during the practice sessions of the Roar, and possibly even during the race itself.
In an interview, Lewis Hamilton said the movie, which may or may not be called Apex, is likely to appear in 2025.
“It will be as authentic as we can get it,” Pitt, who has raced motorcycles, told Sky Sports. “As a civilian, I had no idea what it takes to be a driver.”