Gran Turismo Movie: Everything we know so far

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Gran Turismo movie

It's official: a Gran Turismo movie is coming.

After the Uncharted movie was a massive box office success despite mixed reviews, it's not surprising that Sony Pictures and PlayStation productions are adapting more popular PlayStation game franchises into big-budget movies and TV shows.

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As racing game fanatics, we’re delighted to say that one of these projects will be based on Gran Turismo.

Latest news - Gran Turismo movie teaser trailer takes us behind the scene

Ahead of its theatrical release, Sony Pictures Entertainment has shown the first footage of the Gran Turismo movie in a behind-the-scenes teaser trailer.

This first sneak peek previews the film's thrilling racing scenes while giving us insight into the unique filming process and introducing us to the cast.

Gran Turismo filming wraps up

Stunt drive Mauro Calo announced on Twitter that filming for the Gran Turismo movie has wrapped up. Photos shared on Twitter show a Nissan GTR camera car was used to film the various racing scenes.

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Four new cast members confirmed for Gran Turismo movie

Deadline has revealed four more cast members have signed up for the Gran Turismo movie adaptation.

Emelia Hartford Chevrolet Corvette
Credit: Emelia Hartford / YouTube

Joining the growing Gran Turismo movie cast is prolific automotive YouTuber Emelia Hartford along with Maeve Courtier-Lilley (The Outpost), Pepe Barroso (High Seas) and Sang Heon Lee (XO, Kitty).

Filming begins

It's official: the Gran Turismo movie has started filming! Sony has shared a behind-the-scenes photo taken from the Hungaroring race track in Hungary, confirming that filming is underway.

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Filming has only just begun, but some fans are already mad about the Gran Turismo movie after seeing the behind the scenes photo.

Former Spice Girl to star in Gran Turismo movie

The Gran Turismo movie cast continues to grow, with a famous pop star signing onto the project along with a Fast & Furious actor.

Gran Turismo movie

For the first time in its 25-year history, Gran Turismo is making the jump to the big screen.

In truth, however, Sony has been trying to get the Gran Turismo movie off the ground for almost a decade.

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Back in 2013, The Wrap reported that The Social Network and Fifty Shades of Grey producers Mike de Luca and Dana Brunetti were bringing Gran Turismo to the big screen.

Gran Turismo movie Toyota

Tron Legacy and Oblivion director Joseph Kosinksi was also in talks to direct the Gran Turismo movie adaptation, while Red writers Jon and Erich Hoeber were reportedly writing the screenplay.

With no updates for several years, it looked as if the Gran Turismo movie had stalled on the starting line. But now it’s finally happening.

Since the Gran Turismo movie got the green light this year, new details have emerged from the first casting announcements to the theatrical release date. Without further ado, here’s everything we know so far about the Gran Turismo movie.

Plot

When you think of a video game that can be adapted into movie, you probably don’t think of Gran Turismo. After all, the Gran Turismo games are not renowned for having memorable characters and compelling plots. Players create their own narratives, buying their first used car with a small number of credits and working their way up to the top.

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However, the Gran Turismo movie is inspired by an incredible true story that sounds like it was written for a Hollywood movie.

Jann Mardenborough GT Academy

Gran Turismo's story is described as “the ultimate wish fulfilment tale of a teenage Gran Turismo player whose gaming skills won a series of Nissan competitions to become an actual professional race car driver.”

Sony Pictures has confirmed the Gran Turismo movie is "“based on the inspiring true story of a Gran Turismo player, Jann Mardenborough, who won a series of gaming competitions leading him to become an actual professional racecar driver.”

This means it will mirror the real-life GT Academy, an esports competition run by Polyphony Digital and Nissan where the best Gran Turismo players in the world competed for a chance to become a real-life racing driver for Nissan.

Jann Mardenborough GT Academy
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It will retell the story of Jann Mardenborough's inspiring rise from Gran Turismo gamer to professional race driver. After winning the 2011 GT Academy, the British driver went on to finish second in the 24 Hours of Le Mans LMP2 class in 2013 and race in the Japanese Super GT.

Cast

Playing the lead role of the teenage Gran Turismo gamer who becomes a professional racing driver is Archie Madekwe. It's not known if Madekwe will play Mardenborough or a fictional driver based on him.

Before landing a lead role in Gran Turismo, the young British actor appeared in Midsommar, Voyagers, and the Apple+ drama See.

Archie Madekwe

Several big-name actors have also signed onto the project. The first confirmed cast member for the Gran Turismo movie is David Harbour, best known for playing police chief Jim Hopper in Stranger Things. Harbour will play a retired racing driver who teaches Madekwe how to drive on the track.

David Harbour Gran Turismo movie
Credit: Charlie Gray
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Starring alongside Harbour will be Orlando Bloom, best known for his starring roles in the Pirates of the Caribbean and Lord of the Rings films. In the Gran Turismo movie, Bloom will play “a hungry marketing exec who is selling the sport of motor racing … and just may believe in its art, too."

Orlando Bloom Gran Turismo movie
Credit: Graham Dunn

No racing movie would be complete without a rivalry, whether it’s Niki Lauda vs. James Hunt in Rush or Ford vs. Ferrari in Le Mans 66. Best known for starring in the Netflix romantic comedy series Never Have I Ever, American actor Darren Barnet will play the antagonist.

Darren Barnet Gran Turismo movie

His character is described as a “racer who is ranked at the top at the GT Academy and who is not thrilled to see the upstart teen excel” according to Hollywood Reporter.

Credit: Aaron J Hurley

One surprise casting choice is Geri Halliwell-Horner, who is married to Red Bull F1 Team Principal Christian Horner. According to Hollywood Reporter, the former Spice Girl will play the mother of Archie Madekwe's teenage character.

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Playing the father will be two-time Academy Award-nominated actor Djimon Hounsou, who appeared in Fast & Furious 7.

German actor Thomas Kretschmann, Naomi star Daniel Puig and Josha Stradowski (Amazon’s Wheel of Time) will also play unknown roles.

According to Deadline, popular automotive YouTuber and racing driver Emelia Hartford has joined the Gran Turismo movie cast in an unknown role.

Emelia Hartford Ford Mustang
Credit: Emelia Hartford / YouTube

Hartford is best known for her automotive YouTube channel, which has over one million subscribers, her supercar collection, and building custom cars. She will also appear in A Hollywood Christmas on HBO Max.

Deadline also confirmed that Maeve Courtier-Lilley (The Outpost), Pepe Barroso (High Seas) and Sang Heon Lee (XO, Kitty) have also joined the Gran Turismo cast.

Director

Behind the camera will be Neill Blomkamp, best known for directing science fiction flicks such as District 9, Chappie, and Elysium.

He may not be an obvious choice to direct a car racing film, but Blomkamp said in an interview with Motor Trend that he has always dreamed of directing car scenes in movies. Plots in movies like Chappie have never allowed this, but his dream will finally be fulfilled with the Gran Turismo movie.

Neill Blomkamp Gran Turismo movie

Having owned a 1987 Golf GTI, BMW M3, 2010 Corvette ZR1, Subaru WRX, and three Nissan GT-Rs, he's also an avid car enthusiast.

Speaking on Twitter, Blomkamp says directing the Gran Turismo movie will allow him to "combine my love of cars with love of film." With his love of cars combined with a compelling human-centered story , we're confident the Gran Turismo movie is in good hands.

Jason Hall (American Sniper) and Zach Baylin (King Richard) are handling the screenplay. Hall will also serve as Executive Producer alongside Gran Turismo series producer Kazunori Yamauchi.

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Cars

Of course, a movie adaptation based on a racing game franchise is going to feature some drool-worthy on-screen cars. However, with no trailers or production stills availalbe yet, it’s not known which cars will appear in the Gran Turismo movie.

GT Academy Nissan 350Z

In the real-life GT Academy, drivers trained in karts and Caterhams as well as and Nissan 370Z and GT-Rs to prepare them for track racing. 2011 GT Academy winner Jann Mardenborough went on to race a Nissan 370Z GT4 in the Dubai International 24 Hours. Since it’s inspired by the GT Academy, we expect these cars will appear in the Gran Turismo movie.

We could also see replicas of LMP2 and Super GT cars get put through their paces in the film’s racing scenes if the Gran Turismo movie charts Mardenborough's racing career.

Trailer

Unfortunately, there's no Gran Turismo movie trailer yet.

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However, Sony Picture Entertainment has released a behind-the-scenes teaser trailer. It shows the first footage of the film's heart-pumping racing action and introduces us to the cast.

While this is only a sneak peek, we expect a full trailer will be released in the coming months.

Release date

As for the release date, the Gran Turismo movie races into theatres on 11 August 2023.

Being based on one of the most popular racing game franchises of all time, Sony Pictures could have another huge box office hit on its hands. We can’t wait to see how it translates to the big screen.