More so than ever before, Sony is making a massive push to adapt some of the most popular PlayStation games with the likes of Uncharted and the upcoming The Last of Us HBO Series. Games like Horizon, God of War, and Twisted Metal all have TV adaptations in the works, and now the entertainment conglomerate is turning its attention to one of its most successful franchises to date: Gran Turismo.
In a little less than a year, the popular racing simulation series, which dates back to 1997, will get the big-screen treatment with a visionary director, accomplished screenwriters, an outstanding cast, and a plot based on a true story. Though there is some time before the racing movie opens in theaters, there is a great deal of information we know about the movie so far. Here are some quick things to know about Gran Turismo…
Gran Turismo Is Set To Premiere August 11, 2023
There isn’t all that much time to wait until fans of the long-running video game series, which released its most recent title in March 2022, get to see Gran Turismo in action on the big screen, as the movie is slated to premiere theatrically on August 11, 2023. The release date was revealed by outlets like Deadline in June 2022, just weeks after this iteration of the movie was first announced.
Barring any major shifts in the 2023 release schedule, we’ll be closing out the summer blockbuster season with what sounds like a remarkable adaptation of one of the most successful video game franchises of all time.
The Gran Turismo Cast Includes David Harbour, Orlando Bloom, And More
Unlike the Gran Turismo games, which are racing simulations with no story or exciting characters, the upcoming video game movie is bursting at the seams with talented and well-known actors. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Gran Turismo cast will see Stranger Things Season 4 all-star David Harbour take on the role of a retired race car driver tasked with teaching Archie Madekwe’s (See) main character how to drive in a professional setting. Also joining the cast are Orlando Bloom and Never Have I Ever star Darren Barnet, who will be playing a marketing executive and a top-ranking driver, respectively.
The Movie Centers On A Young ‘Gran Turismo’ Player Who Becomes An Actual Race Car Driver
When Gran Turismo opens in theaters in August 2023, it will center on the story of a young video gamer whose success on the virtual race track and in a series of Nissan competitions results in him becoming an actual race car driver, according to Variety. Though this sounds like something drawn up in a writers room in Hollywood, the truth is the movie is based on true story.
The movie is based on the story of Jann Mardenborough, a virtual racer who rose to stardom after winning the 2011 GT Academy and later became a professional racer. In a 2014 profile on the British racer, Gamespot reported that he went on to compete in the Dubai 24 Hours endurance race for Nissan, as well as various other circuits after that.
District 9 Director Neill Blomkamp Will Helm Gran Turismo
Adapting one of the longest running racing game franchises into a movie that will appeal to those familiar with the franchise and general moviegoers without neglecting either group is something that is easier said than done. Luckily, the filmmaker who has been put in charge of the Gran Turismo movie has a track record that shows they are more than up to the challenge that lies ahead.
It has been reported by multiple outlets, including The Hollywood Reporter, throughout 2022 that Neill Blomkamp will be the one bringing Gran Turismo out of the console and into the theater in summer 2023. Blomkamp made a name for himself as an up-and-coming director in 2009 with District 9, and has since gone on to make movies like Elysium, Chappie, and Demonic. In February 2021, Blomkamp said the District 10 script was being written but there haven’t been any updates since.
The Gran Turismo Movie Was Penned By The Writers Behind American Sniper And King Richard
The writing team who has been tasked with adapting the true story of a Gran Turismo player who went on to become a real race car driver is made up of two screenwriters who have some experience with bringing real life stories to the big screen. In the same article where The Hollywood Reporter pointed out Neill Blomkamp would direct the high-profile cast, it was also noted that Jason Hall and Zach Baylin would be writing the script.
Hall was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay and a Writers Guild of America Award in the same category for his work on the 2015 biographical drama, American Sniper, which saw Clint Eastwood direct Bradley Cooper as the late Chris Kyle. Baylin also has experience in the biopic genre, as he wrote the King Richard screenplay, which earned Will Smith an Oscar for his portrayal of Richard Williams, the father of tennis legends Venus and Serena Williams. Baylin also wrote the soon-to-be-released Creed III, starring Michael B. Jordan.
The Gran Turismo Movie Has Been In The Works For Nearly A Decade
By the time Gran Turismo lands in theaters in August 2023, it will be a full decade since the project was first announced by Sony Pictures back in July 2013. At the time, The Wrap reported that Fifty Shades of Grey producers Mike De Luca and Dana Brunetti were leading the project, though there wasn’t much in the form of details at the time.
In 2015, The Hollywood Reporter published a story stating that Joseph Kosinski, who would go on to direct the incredibly successful Top Gun: Maverick, was in talks to direct the video game adaptation. Those talks eventually fizzled out in the years following the announcement, leading to the current version of the Gran Turismo cinematic journey.
There is still a good deal of information we don’t know about the Gran Turismo movie, but expect those details to be worked out as we get closer to the film’s release. In the meantime, check out all the other 2023 movies that are coming to theaters and streaming services in the very near future.
Philip grew up in Louisiana (not New Orleans) before moving to St. Louis after graduating from Louisiana State University-Shreveport. When he's not writing about movies or television, Philip can be found being chased by his three kids, telling his dogs to stop yelling at the mailman, or yelling about professional wrestling to his wife. If the stars properly align, he will talk about For Love Of The Game being the best baseball movie of all time.