TT to get its own Drive to Survive | Production companies announce game-changing coverage of event

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Filming for a Hollywood-backed, big budget Formula 1: Drive to Survive style docuseries and feature film covering the Isle of Man TT has begun. The project is backed by Channing Tatum and Brad Pitt’s production companies, Free Association and Plan B, along with other Hollywood partners, and aims to deliver a high-end audiovisual production set to billed as The Greatest Race on Earth.

Filming is being carried out by Box to Box films who have been behind some of the biggest sport docuseries including: Formula 1: Drive To Survive, Full Swing, Tour de France: Unchained and Six Nations: Full Contact.

Box to Box have already been busy in the week leading up to the TT and spent time with Davey Todd, filming his journey and set-up at this year’s race as well as visiting fellow rider Dean Harrison at his house on the Isle of Man.

Action from the Isle of Man TT from drone

A statement from Tatum’s production company said: “We dare anyone to find more awe-inspiring people, or a more breathtakingly vibrant world than the Isle of Man TT. We’ve always been drawn to characters who push the edge of what’s possible, and this race is their Shangri-La. We’re deeply honoured to be part of the creative dream team telling the story of this legendary event, and can’t wait to finally share this mythical sport we love with audiences.” 

The confirmation of the docuseries, film and personnel involved is huge news for the TT which broke new ground in 2022 when organisers introduced live coverage of the event

Speaking exclusively to MCN, TT Business Development Manager Paul Phillips said: “This project has the potential to be transformational for the event. 

TT Business Development Manager, Paul Phillips

“Similar projects with similar people involved in other sporting franchise that are far more developed than the TT have been transformed. So the impact for a sport which is far more niche, one that is usually spectacular and full of interesting personalities – well the potential is huge. And that is the reason why we’re here with some of the biggest production houses in Hollywood involved.”

MCN understands that the docuseries has been years in the making with the organisers receiving interest from multiple production companies to showcase the event in the past. 

“The whole digital marketing injection has woken up the world to the TT,” continued Phillips. “I appreciate that not everyone will understand what a big deal this is, or even care but it is a fantastic acknowledgement of what the Isle of Man TT is.”

Pitstop in IOM TT Supersport race

Anyone that has watched docuseries Drive to Survive knows that they are raw, unscripted and sometimes controversial – which is undoubtedly a huge factor in their ongoing success. But with that unprecedented access comes a certain level of risk. 

Phillips said: “It’s exciting but it comes with challenges. Having people come and make content and be brilliant at it, but it’s content that we won’t be in control of. We have a really good relationship, understanding and contractual agreements, but we’re not making the content.

“We have to take the view that they want to go on a certain trajectory with this and they can only do that by amplifying the TT rather than hurting it. That’s the safety net. There’s a trust as we’ve all seen the work they do.

Michael Dunlop at the top of Bray Hill

“There’s also the authenticity of the headline personalities involved in it. Channing Tatum came last year and completely immersed himself in the TT.”

And while the TT are clearly excited by the new project, Phillips is at pains to reiterate that while it’s big news for the event as it has the potential to bring the TT into the global mainstream – the thing that won’t change is the on-track action itself. 

“While people say the TT is changing, what doesn’t change is the bikes setting off down Bray Hill. They’ll be doing that this year, just faster. No matter what you’ve experienced in your life, no matter where you’ve been or what you’ve been privileged to see – when you come to the TT from the side of the road you just say ‘f**ing hell’. The TT has something money can’t buy.”