The long-awaited blockbuster where Brad Pitt is set to “race” Formula 1 ace Lewis Hamilton, is being pushed back potentially to 2025.
The ambitious collaboration between the Hollywood icon and the Mercedes F1 driver intended to capture the essence of Formula 1 racing, has encountered unexpected setbacks. The project has been forced to pause and undergo a reset, primarily due to industry-wide strikes and the accompanying drama.
The Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) initiated its first strike since 1980, engaging in a dispute over compensation and the utilization of Artificial Intelligence in productions. The strikes led to the suspension of numerous film and TV productions, including Apex.
Fortunately, SAG-AFTRA members recently approved a deal with the studios, bringing an end to the strikes that persisted for five months. However, the delay has impacted the release date of Apex, with Hamilton stating that the launch could go well into 2025. When asked for a release date, the seven-time world champion told the media:
“Probably early 2025, I would imagine, with the post-work they’d have to do. So yeah, it’s been delayed a lot.”
The hurdles in filming have led to various kinds of production problems, including the cancellation of filming a scene that was said to take place at the Las Vegas inaugural Grand Prix. With little progress made this year, much of the production has been postponed to 2024.
Despite the roadblocks, Director Jerry Bruckheimer, who worked on films such as Pirates of the Caribbean and Top Gun, displayed his support to the workers who went on strike.
Speaking of the scenes that have been filmed already, they include clips from the Hungarian and US Grands Prix as the fictional APXGP team was spotted on location. Brad Pitt was also spotted filming scenes at Silverstone during the British Grand Prix weekend.
Seven-times world champion Lewis, 38, is executive producer and wanted to ensure footage is as realistic as possible in the as-yet-untitled movie.
Pitt plays a veteran F1 driver who comes out of retirement to mentor a younger hotshot.
Lewis Hamilton: Spending time with Brad Pitt is pretty epic
The film is being made by Dawn Apollo Films, Lewis’s new production company. He will help with casting and says: “It’s a cool project . . . [and] spending good time with Brad is pretty epic.”
“I have such high hopes for it,” Hamilton said. “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.”
Hamilton is part of the cast, although it seems like any presence he has in front of the camera will be limited to the on-track action, along with other current F1 drivers.
“I don’t plan to be in it, no,” Hamilton told the media in 2022, adding later: “It’s going to take us drivers to be involved in [filming the on-track action]. But we’re not actors … We don’t want this movie to be crap, which is probably why I’m not going to be part of it also.”
Hamilton is helping with casting, and the first step was finding Pitt’s co-star.