Filming of Lewis Hamilton and Brad Pitt’s yet-unnamed Formula 1 movie for Apple TV+ is set to begin next year. Since both just so happened to be in attendance at last weekend’s United States Grand Prix — Hamilton was working the event, so he kind of had no choice — the film proved a hot topic of conversation. And the seven-time champ let the world know how excited he is for it.
Hamilton aired his enthusiasm in an interview quoted by Motorsport.com. He also plugged Apple’s other F1-themed project — a documentary about the Mercedes driver himself.
“I’m incredibly excited about it,” said Hamilton when asked about the film by Motorsport.com. “I mean, what we’ve able to so far put together team-wise is pretty incredible.
“I’ve got Tim Cook here this weekend, which is such an honour to have him with us, him and his team have been so supportive, with supporting my documentary, and also green lighting this movie.
“And then having Brad, a legend, and you’ve got Jerry, who really is an incredible legend, he did Top Gun the original. And Joe is such a huge talent as a director.
“I have such high hopes for it. I know we’re going to make the best racing movie that’s ever existed, both visually and we’re going to work on making sure we pull on the heartstrings of all those fans.”
I like Hamilton’s ambition, but there’s two things about this quote that strike me. First, as my colleague Erik said in Slack, the quote “reads like he finally saw a movie for the first time last week and thinks that the medium has real possibilities,” which made me giggle.
Second, I don’t know that making “the best racing movie that’s ever existed” is as difficult as it seems on the surface. There are plenty of good racing movies, but is there a great one? One that can stand on its own, divorced from its context, as one of the finest contributions to the art of all time? I’m not so sure. I wonder what Hamilton’s opinions on Rush, or Ford v. Ferrari, or Grand Prix are. We already know he’s a fan of Talladega Nights and wants to cameo in a sequel, if it ever happens. (It really should one day, because director Adam McKay’s idea for it sounded amazing.)
In any case, Hamilton has grand ideas for this project, and I’m sure the Top Gun: Maverick duo of director Joseph Kosinski and producer Jerry Bruckheimer do as well. As it turns out, all of those major players and Apple CEO Tim Cook were on hand at Circuit of the Americas on Sunday, not just to bask in the Austin sun, take in a good race and wave flags miserably, but also to present their vision to the sport’s top minds.
They also met with individual teams. Alfa Romeo team principal Frederic Vasseur told the media that the movie poses great potential for F1 as a whole, even if the benefit is limited for individual squads, while Gunther Steiner of Haas said he was impressed with the film’s technology — the same used to produce Maverick’s impressive mixture of practical effects and computer-aided imagery. Personally, I’m just hoping the movie is as realistic as possible and, as such, features a scene in which Martin Brundle is snubbed by Brad Pitt.