In a deal that may be a game changer for the way films are distributed, it’s just been announced that Apple TV+ will be releasing Joseph Kosinski’s new Formula One flick with Brad Pitt in the driver’s seat. Kosinski, of Top Gun: Maverick fame, has reportedly nailed a lucrative deal that would see the film released globally before it would be streamed.
As Kosinski told The Wrap: “We’ve got an interesting distribution plan that includes a guaranteed worldwide large-format theatrical experience that then rolls into an exclusive streaming arrangement on Apple TV+…It’s a hybrid model which maybe is the way that streaming and theaters can coexist for the right stories.”
Four entities were reportedly in the competition for the multimillion-dollar deal: Apple, Amazon, MGM, and Netflix, all trying to bank on the sheer star power of the Kosinski-Pitt combination. According to The Wrap, the deal likely emerged as a byproduct of Top Gun: Maverick’s smashing box-office receipts as well as the potential offered by large-format IMAX theaters and similar venues, like Dolby, 4DX, and Screen X.
Kosinski told reporters that the deal was six months in the making. “But certainly seeing people react to an in-camera, authentically captured film like Top Gun makes us all feel good that our approach works and is appreciated by audiences. It’s almost funny to me to see people who are so enamored with real photography. Younger people almost haven’t seen a lot of it.”
“That’s exactly the approach for Formula One is to shoot at the real races and real cars and capture it,” Kosinski added. “It’s going to be a huge challenge but an exciting one for me.”
In the new film, which is still untitled, Pitt will play a veteran racecar driver who comes out of retirement for one last circuit, partnering with an up-and-coming young rookie. It is the second major deal that Pitt has sealed in recent months: he will star alongside George Clooney in an also-untitled film to be directed by Jon Watts of Spider-Man fame.