Joseph Kosinski’s Formula 1 movie reportedly has a budget of over $300m

Formula 1 Joseph Kosinski
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Strikes and delays have reportedly seen the budget on Top Gun: Maverick director Joseph Kosinski’s Formula 1 movie race past the $300m mark.

If a new report’s accurate, then Apple Studios is in the process of spending a quite sinister amount of money on its forthcoming Formula 1 movie.

Directed by Joseph Kosinski and starring Brad Pitt, the film doesn’t currently have an official title – the word was that it was called Apex, also the name of a 2021 Bruce Willis action flick, though that hasn’t been confirmed so far.

What it does have, though, is an absolutely enormous budget; according to Puck, as picked up by World of Reel, the spend so far has breached the $300m mark.

The distribution rights to the movie were snapped up by Apple in 2022, with the company no doubt attracted by the pairing of producer Jerry Bruckheimer and Kosinski, who’d just made a huge success out of Top Gun: Maverick together. The sum paid for that package was said to be as much as $140m, with $30m of that going to Brad Pitt, who stars as retired racing driver Sonny Hayes.

That already large sum has reportedly ballooned further due to last year’s strikes; those coincided with the Formula 1 season, which the production was relying on in order to shoot its practical racing sequences. Much like Ridley Scott’s Gladiator 2, the delays partly explain the soaring costs, with cast and crew still being paid their salaries while the production was on hiatus. (It should be pointed out that Paramount has disputed reports of Gladiator 2's $310m budget.)

The sums involved in Kosinski’s film have grown to such an extent that Apple is now said to be going around established Hollywood studios in order to shoulder the task of distributing it. At the time of writing, no one at Apple Studios has commented on the report.

Kosinski’s film, written by Ehren Kruger (co-writer of Top Gun: Maverick), sees Pitt’s Sonny Hayes coaxed out of retirement to help train a talented young racer played by Damson Idris. Javier Bardem, Kerry Condon and real-world racing star Lewis Hamilton are all set to co-star.

Last February, Hamilton suggested that the film was in the process of being rewritten. “Right now, we’ve still got the script,” he said at the time. “We’ve gone through quite a few different iterations of it. We’re still waiting for a new rewrite, and that’s the whole process.”

Reading about the movie, it’s hard not to think back to 1990, when producer Jerry Bruckheimer and director Tony Scott decided to follow up the massive success of Top Gun with a movie that took the same blockbuster formula and applied it to the world of racing. The result was Days Of Thunder, which cost four times as much as Top Gun and made less than half as much money. Just saying.

More on Kosinski’s F1 epic as we get it.

Picture credit: By Matti Blume – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikipedia Commons.

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