Uhh...I guess Brad Pitt saw Tom Cruise still crushing it in Top Gun: Maverick as a fighter pilot and the Mission: Impossible franchise as a probable real-life super spy while pushing 60 and said:
But then he must've been like FUCK IT, TOM. I SEE YOU. I'm gonna join Formula 1 for my new action movie vehicle!
Seriously. I thought I was misreading this news when I first saw it. The fact that Formula 1 are going out of their way to create an unofficial/ceremonial "11th team" on the exclusive, highest tier of international open-wheel racing to accommodate a fictional story is bonkers as is. Forget obtaining a mere filming permit to shoot at these renowned venues. This is levels upon levels upon levels beyond that.
…Obviously Brad Pitt isn't partaking in the actual F1 series or races and becoming a full-blown professional driver with a legit FIA Super License. Speeds can top out at over 230 mph on this circuit. The Drive's Lewin Day got in touch with an F1 spokesperson, who confirmed that Pitt "will not be racing anyone."
Nevertheless, this is a batshit crazy creative undertaking matter what the specifics are of how they're planning to pull it all off. I love it. Here's a more detailed thread on the mechanics of how this is all going to (somehow…?) work, via a private panel hosted by The Wall Street Journal at the F1 Accelerate Summit:
Literally inventing new camera technology on the fly. PRETTY COOL, YEAH? How neat is it that the legendary Sir Lewis Hamilton — 103-time winner and seven-time World Drivers' Champion — is consulting on the project as a producer to make sure everything is as authentic as possible.
This is such a fascinating, quixotic odyssey in hot pursuit of cinematic verisimilitude. Seems dangerous! But like…I would think the filmmaker behind Top Gun: Maverick can handle his shit since he managed to execute at such an elite level in that global sensation smash hit insert superlative here.
And yes, because Maverick director (pun intended because holy fuck) Joseph Kosinski is helming this flick, Tom Cruise has indeed offered his driving services to his previous collaborator should the need arise.
I thought this might've been a cheeky joke by Buxton but then again Cruise does have racing experience in his one of his earlier Hollywood starring roles from Days of Thunder. If you haven't seen any of the chase scenes Cruise has ever done in the Mission: Impossible series, uhh…first of all watch them. Then realize he does all his own driving. Man knows how to steer a whip to say the least.
Pretty sure Cruise can handle whatever duties arise on this Pitt-driven Formula 1 production considering he reached a top speed of 181 mph in an F1 cockpit almost twelve years ago.
Ballsy move by Brad Pitt at this stage of his career. Cooly cruising (hardy har har) your way to an Oscar in Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood is one thing. THIS!? My goodness. Even if the speeds are much tamer than what Cruise did over a decade ago, you really need to know what the hell you're doing to handle one of these souped-up four-wheelers.
Even if it's half that aforementioned top speed of 230+ mph for the racing scenes, or hell, a quarter! Still gonna require some hard, learned hours to stay as safe as possible.
Seems like Pitt and Cruise are loosely inspiring each other of late. Pitt starred in Ad Astra and trained with a NASA pilot to learn how flying a spaceship works for his role as astronaut Roy McBride. It was one of the better performances of his career in an underrated film, I thought.
Then, you know, Tom Cruise is going to ACTUAL outer space to shoot a pic in the coming years. LOL.
These classic throwback movie stars aren't interested in reuniting for some odd, belated Interview with the Vampire sequel. Nope. They're full-blown, thrill-seeking adrenaline junkies trying to punctuate their legacies with some unforgettable experiences to remind audiences how thrilling it is to go to movie theaters and take in a mind-blowing, pulse-pounding blockbuster in the dark with strangers.
Formula 1 is accustomed to granting awesome insider access thanks to the Netflix series Drive to Survive, which is entering its fifth season. Buxton is featured on there often, hence my trust in his reporting on the WSJ F1 panel. The show has been instrumental to the sport's exploding popularity, particularly here in the States. Check out the latest trailer below.
More on the initial deal for this Pitt-Kosinski F1 here, which seems salient in light of the issues raised amid the WGA strike but that's a whole other thing. Didn't want to bury the lede or get too far afield.