Brad Pitt stages a Formula One racing comeback in first teaser for F1

Brad Pitt and Damson Idris co-star in F1, coming to theaters next summer.

Can a washed-up Formula One driver come out of retirement to mentor a young rookie into a champion? That’s the basic premise for F1, a forthcoming film starring Brad Pitt and directed by Joseph Kosinski (Tron: Legacy, Top Gun: Maverick). Warner Bros. dropped the first teaser for the film yesterday, right before the 2024 British Grand Prix.

Pitt plays Sonny Hayes, a fictional Formula One driver who crashed horribly in the 1990s and retired from the sport. Then his longtime friend Ruben (Javier Bardem), owner of the fictional team APXGP, approaches him about coming out of retirement to mentor his team’s rookie prodigy, Joshua “Noah” Pearce (Damson Idris). “They’re a last place team, they’re 21-22 on the grid, they’ve never scored a point,” Pitt told Sky Sports last year. “But they have a young phenom (Idris) and they bring me in as kind of a Hail Mary and hijinks ensue.”

In addition to Pitt, Bardem, and Idris, the cast includes Kerry Condon as Kate; Tobias Menzies as Banning; Kim Bodnia as Kaspar; Shea Wigham as Chip Hart; Joseph Balderrama as Rica Fazio; Sarah Niles as Noah’s mother, Bernadette; Samson Kayo as Cashman; Callie Cooke as Jodie; and Layne Harper as Press.

Playing themselves in the film: seven-time Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton, Max Verstappen, Carlos Sainz Jr., Sergio Perez, Benoit Treluyer, and the rest of the F1 drivers and team members. Hamilton is a co-producer on the film and was also involved during the script-writing process to keep the film as realistic as possible by drawing on his own experiences. “We want everyone to love it and to really feel that we can encapsulate what the essence of this sport is about,” Hamilton said last year.

We don’t get much dialogue in this first teaser, or much information about the plot. Honestly? The teaser comes off as a bit cheesy from a marketing standpoint. (Since when do people in the racing community scoff so dismissively at safety concerns?) But that’s all real racing footage shot on actual tracks during bona fide F1 Grand Prix weekends. Pitt himself raced an adapted F2 car between practice sessions around the Northamptonshire circuit.

“There are cameras mounted all over the car,” Pitt told Sky Sports during filming at the 2023 British Grand Prix. “You’ve never seen speed; you’ve never seen just the G forces like this.” Based on the teaser, the visual efforts to immerse audiences in the F1 experience paid off. This is a film you’ll probably want to see in IMAX.

F1 arrives in theaters in the summer of 2025 and will stream on Apple TV+ sometime after that. It’s the sixth film from Apple Original Films to snag theater distribution, following in the footsteps of Martin Scorsese’s Oscar-nominated Killers of the Flower Moon and this weekend’s Fly Me to the Moon, among others.

Apple Original Films/Warner Bros.

Listing image by Warner Bros/Apple TV+

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