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Apple Pays Reported $225 Million for Brad Pitt Formula 1 Movie, Keeps It Out of Netflix's Hands

Netflix series 'Formula 1: Drive to Survive'
(Image credit: Netflix)

Apple is paying a reported $225 million to director Joe Kosinksi to acquire a Formula 1-themed racing movie starring Brad Pitt. 

According to former Hollywood Reporter top editor Matt Beloni, who now publishes the inside-Hollywood Substack newsletter Puck, the pricey deal comes includes a $40 million fee for Pitt to produce and star in the film. The agreement also calls for an exclusive theatrical window. 

Kosinkis is known for the 2017 wildfire fighting-themed tearjerker Only the Brave, as well as the highly anticipated (and highly delayed) Tom Cruise-led sequel Top Gun: Maverick.

As for why we're suddenly interested in the breathless churn of Hollywood projection development news: Netflix has openly stated its interest in expanding on the success of its docu-series Formula 1: Fight to Survive with a possible poaching of Formula 1-series broadcast rights from ESPN, with the current deal set to expire after the 2022 racing season. 

“A few years ago, the rights to Formula 1 were sold,” Netflix Co-CEO Reed Hastings told Germany's Der Spiegel in September. “At that time, we were not among the bidders. Today, we would think about it.”

Would Apple overpay for a project just to lane-block a FAANG rival from a piece that would enable an organic entry into live sports?