Hollywood A-lister Brad Pitt has taken centre stage at the Rolex 24 at Daytona, not as a spectator, but as part of the cast of an upcoming Formula One movie. The yet-to-be-titled film features Pitt as an ageing driver making a comeback in sports car racing, and the actor is actively filming scenes for it in the United States.
However, Pitt’s presence has caused a stir among fellow drivers at Daytona International Speedway, especially due to the heightened security around the actor’s motorhome lot, where he spends his downtime between takes. NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace and other top competitors, including former F1 champion Jenson Button and IndyCar driver Colton Herta, have complained about an overcrowded lot, courtesy of Pitt’s filming setup.
Complaints also surfaced about the filming sessions disrupting drivers’ sleep as they continued long after the Rolex 24 practices had concluded.
The filming session requires at least six cars on track at a time. Among them are three identically prepared Porsche 911 GT3’s painted as the actual movie car. The cars are also identical to the Wright Motorsports entry that will actually race in the twice-round-the-clock event that begins Saturday.
Additional cars on track, described as “non-descript cars looking like they are racing,” include a Mercedes and a BMW. Notably, a 1999 Lola V8 serves as the official “camera vehicle,” generating stock car-like engine sounds that have reportedly kept drivers awake.
Despite the inconveniences, Button stated, “This race is going to be super cool, and the lack of sleep is the only issue, but I’m in the cheap seats. I think we’re doing OK. We’ve got a big race coming up, and Brad Pitt is playing a part in the event.”
The F1 movie, produced by Jerry Bruckheimer (known for Days of Thunder), features seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton as a producer and technical adviser. The film is being directed by Joseph Kosinski and is set for release in the summer of 2025. (Agencies)