Daytona Beach takes center stage in Formula 1 movie starring Brad Pitt

Actor Brad Pitt at the British Formula One Grand Prix race at the Silverstone racetrack, Silverstone, England, on July 9, 2023. (Christian Bruna/Pool photo via AP)

By Crystal Harlan

January 24, 2024

Daytona International Speedway and Pappas Drive-In and Restaurant in New Smyrna Beach are among the locations where Brad Pitt will be filming Apex.

Volusia County is getting a taste of Hollywood this week as Brad Pitt is in the area filming Apex, a movie about the world of Formula 1 racing.

In the Apple Original Films production, Pitt plays the character of veteran driver Sonny Hayes, who comes out of retirement to assist rookie F1 charger Joshua Pears, played by Damson Idris.

The 60-year-old Oscar-winning actor was seen filming scenes during the Rolex Roar Before 24, the three-day test runs that are the final dress rehearsal for the Rolex 24 At Daytona International Speedway.

Pappas Drive-In and Restaurant in New Smyrna Beach is another confirmed filming location.

Vic Ganoe, the owner of Pappas Drive-In & Restaurant in New Smyrna Beach, told The Daytona Beach New-Journal that the restaurant will be closed from Jan. 23 to Jan. 29 while the movie is being filmed on the property.

Ganoe told the newspaper that it is “very cool” for New Smyrna Beach to be a location for the film, and that some of the restaurant’s employees will be featured in scenes.

The movie is set to be released sometime in 2025.


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  • Crystal Harlan

    Crystal is a bilingual editor and writer with over 20 years of experience in digital and print media. She is currently based in Florida, but has lived in small towns in the Midwest, Caracas, New York City, and Madrid, where she earned her MA in Spanish literature.



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