Apple strikes unusual deal for Formula One racing film starring Brad Pitt | Cult of Mac

Apple strikes unusual deal for Formula One racing film starring Brad Pitt

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Brad Pitt stars as a retired race car driver who gets back in the Formula One game.
Brad Pitt stars as a retired race car driver who gets back in the Formula One game.
Photo: Glen Wheeler/Unsplash

Apple Original Films outraced other studios to win a deal for the rights to a Formula One racing film starring Brad Pitt. Notably, the resulting agreement takes a new road to theatrical and streaming distribution.

And Pitt’s not the only big name here. Joseph Kosinski directs and Jerry Bruckheimer produces the as-yet-untitled movie.

Apple Original Films wins rights to Formula One racing movie starring Brad Pitt in unusual deal

Apple negotiated for five months to finally ink the deal for the rights to the potential blockbuster, directed by Kosinski (Top Gun: Maverick) and produced by Jerry Bruckheimer Films and Pitt’s Plan B Entertainment with help from seven-time F1 world champion Sir Lewis Hamilton, according the The Hollywood Reporter.

Observers suggest it could change how streams and theatrical film distributors interact.

The deal brings Kosinski back together with others who made the hit movie Top Gun: Maverick, including writer Ehren Kruger and producers Jerry Bruckheimer and Chad Oman.

While the presence of major players like Pitt, Kosinski and Bruckheimer draws the eye, the deal itself is causing some rubbernecking, too.

2 ‘firsts’ for film deals

In a first, the movie will have an exclusive and global theatrical run of at least 30 days — but perhaps as many as 60 days — before it lands on Apple TV+. A theater distribution partner has not yet signed on to the arrangement.

And in another first, Hollywood sources said Apple and the filmmakers will share proceeds from the theatrical run 50-50. The deal will pay the creative team in three ways: upfront fees, buyout fees and theatrical backend.

Kosinski and Bruckheimer could might rake in eight-figure payouts, while Pitt could take home up to about $50 million.

Of course, this is not the first time Apple has released one of its original films in theaters. The Tragedy of Macbeth and Wolfwalkers had brief theatrical runs.

But this major Brad Pitt vehicle could be a racier deal in theaters, with much wider release, assuming it doesn’t crash and burn.