Gran Turismo Movie – When Will We See This Video Game Adaptation?

The Gran Turismo movie will star David Harbour and Orlando Bloom. It has a release date of August 11, 2023.

By Rick Gonzales

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Gran Turismo is the record-breaking racing simulation video game series that has been on the market for a quarter of a century. They are best known for their attention to detail in all facets from the appearance of the cars to their performance.

Most of the cars used in Gran Turismo are real-world vehicles. While attention to detail is what sells the series, one thing that doesn’t sell it is the story. Since the series is more or less a racing simulator, there isn’t a need for a story. So, imagine the confusion that came about when it was announced that Sony Pictures and PlayStation Productions were putting together a Gran Turismo movie.


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When making the Gran Turismo movie, it was a little unclear just how they would make a flick about a game that’s mostly just about car racing. But there’s a story in everything and for this film, we will get David Harbour (Stranger Things) as a guy who is apparently teaching a teenager how to drive one of the race cars. The latter will be played by Archie Madekwe who is in the lead role.

Plus, we know that Orlando Bloom has been cast in the film, though his specific role isn’t known at this point.


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The very first Gran Turismo game in the series was released on the original PlayStation console back in 1997. The game was created by Kazunori “Kaz” Yamauchi, who is also a professional racing driver. Gran Turismo was developed by Polyphony Digital, a gaming company that calls Kaz the CEO.

Kaz came up with the idea of the game because he wanted a racing simulator that would be as close to the real thing as possible. As technology advanced, so did the realism of the game.

When the first two games were built, Kaz says the cars were built from 300 polygons. The games advanced with technology and Gran Turismo 3 and 4 had cars built with 4,000 polygons. The premium cars seen in Gran Turismo 5 were built with 500,000 polygons.

Since its 1997 introduction, there have been eight primary releases in the franchise over the years. We have the original, then the series numbered from 2-7, and in between Gran Turismo 6 and Gran Turismo 7, there was the Gran Turismo Sport. The seventh game was released on March 4, 2022. Over the lifetime of the series, it has sold over 85 million units across the globe, placing it as the number one highest-selling video game franchise.

It also has a place in the Guinness Book of World Records. Because of the game’s massive success, it has gone on to grab not one, not two, not even three, but seven world records from the Guinness World Records: Gamer’s Edition 2008. Among the World Records awarded to Gran Turismo were “Highest Selling PlayStation Game,” “Oldest Car in a Racing Game,” “Largest Number of Cars in a Racing Game,” and “Largest Instruction Guide for a Racing Game” though we are not so sure Gran Turismo should be bragging about that last one.


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No, we aren’t jumping from Guinness to Ripley’s, but we are going to move into the realm of moviemaking. You’d have to think that with the popularity of a video game franchise such as Gran Turismo that Hollywood would eventually come knocking on the door. And, “believe it or not,” they did, almost a decade ago!

Yes, back in 2013, Sony actually came out and said they were developing a movie based on the popular racing simulation. The film was going to be produced by Michael De Luca and Dana Brunetti. They had Joseph Kosinski (Top Gun: Maverick) on board to co-write the script and he was also in the running to direct the film.

Five years of pre-production became five years too many. By the time 2018 rolled around, the Kosinski-led Gran Turismo was no longer. It turned into one of those stories heard umpteen billion times in Hollywood – development hell. And speaking of stories, what the heck was the movie going to be about since the video game wasn’t really a game, it didn’t have a narrative, and was basically built to simulate racing?

The film lingered, eventually dying on the Hollywood vine. A story could not be cracked to satisfy a greenlight, so another four or so years passed before the new rumblings began. The franchise continued to sell like hotcakes, and PlayStation was keen on producing films based on their best-selling video games (hello, Uncharted), so the idea of a Gran Turismo movie was resurrected.


He calls himself a Gran Turismo fan, so handing over the directing reins to Neill Blomkamp seems to be the best choice. Blomkamp is well-known for the many short films he has put together, but he is even better known for his films District 9, Elysium, and Chappie. Blomkamp’s latest film is called Demonic, a horror film that he both wrote and directed.

Joining Blomkamp will be scribe Jason Hall who penned the script. The film will be produced by PlayStation Productions. Dana Brunetti, who has been involved since the beginning of trying to get the film made, is still part of the production team.


Gran Turismo 7

So, where do Blomkamp and Hall start with their story? As we’ve mentioned a few times, Gran Turismo is less a video game and more a racing simulation. There is no story to follow, no characters to build on, so how do they create a film from this?

Well, apparently the film is going to be based on an actual true story that revolves around the Gran Turismo video game. In fact, the spine of the story was set back in 2013. Brunetti even spoke to Collider about it. “A lot of people are like, ‘How the hell do you make a movie out of a video game that’s basically a driving simulator?’ And actually, the story is they did an online competition where they narrowed it down from 25,000 people competing online,” Brunetti said to Collider at the time. “The top two they then took and put in the 24 Hours of Dubai race, and they are now race car drivers. …So the movie that we’re gonna do is kind of really a wish-fulfillment fantasy that this kid plays this video game and ultimately goes from this video game to actually racing the race cars.”

The story will center around a teenager who is very good at Gran Turismo. He will be entered into the Gran Turismo Academy and compete against thousands of other hopefuls, where the grand prize will be a shot at becoming a professional racer. The logline for the story reads as follows: Based on a true story, ‘Gran Turismo’ is the ultimate wish fulfillment tale of a teenage Gran Turismo player whose gaming skills won a series of Nissan competitions to become an actual professional race car driver.

This “true story” is based on the Gran Turismo Academy TV show that began in 2011. In it, the world’s top Gran Turismo players, none of whom had any previous racing experience other than the game, would be put through a series of physical and driving challenges to see who had what it took to become an actual professional racer. From this series, drivers such as Lucas Ordoñez and Jann Mardenborough were born. Mardenborough had to defeat 90,000 other players to gain his title. Both Gran Turismo winners have since gone on to have very nice racing careers.


You can’t blame Sony and PlayStation for giving this one a try. It has a mass following, which could translate well at the box office. You will be able to follow all the Gran Turismo action when it hit theaters or comes to a streaming service near you on August 11, 2023.