The upcoming Will Smith/Margot Robbie movie “Focus,” opening Friday, February 27th (Warner Bros. Pictures – rated R), will feature scenes filmed at NOLA Motorsports Park in Louisiana and a number of Verizon IndyCar Series cars and drivers.
NOLA Motorsports Park will host the inaugural Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana on April 12th.
Indianapolis 500-winning team owner and former Indy car driver Bryan Herta and 2014 Sunoco Rookie of the Year Carlos Munoz make their feature film debut.
“We were approached about providing cars for the movie and two other drivers had conflicts, so I thought, ‘What the heck; I’ll drive it,'” said Herta. “I hadn’t driven an Indy car since ’06 or the new car ever, so I thought it would be fun to get in the car and see what it feels like for first-hand knowledge.
“Obviously, movie driving is a little different than racing, but it was still good to get out there and feel the downforce, the power and all those sensations again,” Herta continued. “I think the contract said we couldn’t go over 100 mph. I’m not going to say we didn’t though.”
“After those days, I knew for sure I wanted to be a Hollywood star,” joked Munoz, who drives for Andretti Autosport. “It was my first time with such an experience and probably my first and last time in a movie. I’m looking forward to seeing the movie and how our scenes turned out. I think it’s great for INDYCAR to be featured in such a manner.”
Several Verizon IndyCar Series race markets will play host to private screenings organized by Warner Bros. Show cars will be present at screenings in Tampa, Milwaukee, New Orleans, Indianapolis and Detroit. Drivers Ed Carpenter will introduce the movie in Detroit, while Jack Hawksworth will do the same in Milwaukee. Bryan Herta Autosport driver Gabby Chaves and Schmidt Peterson Motorsports’ James Hinchcliffe will attend the Indianapolis screening. Graham Rahal and his fiancee, second-generation NHRA driver Courtney Force, appeared at the red carpet premiere at the TCL Chinese Theatre in Los Angeles on Tuesday, February 24th; Rahal’s No. 15 Midas IndyCar from 2013 is featured in the movie.
“Aligning the stars and cars of the Verizon IndyCar Series with the stars of a major motion picture like ‘Focus’ made a lot of sense to us,” said Mark Miles, CEO of Hulman & Company, the parent company of INDYCAR and Indianapolis Motor Speedway. “Warner Bros. and the entire ‘Focus’ production staff have been great partners throughout this process, and we look forward to positioning our brand with more of these opportunities in the future.”
Find out more about the movie at www.focusmovie.com.
Quotes and information in this piece provided by IndyCar Media.
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