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Who is the Gran Turismo Movie Based On?


We never expected one of the world’s most popular racing simulators to be adapted into a big-budget Hollywood film, but here we are. Directed by Neil Blomkamp, the Gran Turismo Movie is out now in the UK. Much has been made in the marketing about it being inspired by a true story, but who is the Gran Turismo Movie based on?

Find out what inspired the true story of the Gran Turismo movie.

Who is the Gran Turismo movie based on?

Throughout its 25+ year history, Gran Turismo hasn’t been known for having storylines. Instead, players create their own narratives by building their dream cars and working their way up the ranks.

Gran Turismo could have followed the same path as the 2004 Need for Speed film with a fictional plot sprinkled with nods to the games. Instead, it’s based on a true story. 

Archie Madehawke as Jann Mardenborough in Gran Turismo movie
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The Gran Turismo movie is based on the extraordinary true story of Jann Mardenborough played by Archie Madehawke, a gamer who becomes a professional racing driver after winning the 2011 GT Academy competition.

In real life, Mardenborough went on to race for numerous disciplines including the Japanese Super GT series and the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Remarkably, he finished third in his Le Man debut.

It’s an inspiring underdog sports story that lends itself well to Hollywood. Mardenborough was also a stunt double for the film.

Gran Turismo movie Jann Mardenborough
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Credit: Sony Pictures Entertainment

While it’s based on a true story, it’s not 100% accurate. The film implies Mardenborough was the first person to win the GT Academy when he was the third. Lucas Ordonez was the first-ever winner of the GT Academy in 2009.

His coach Jack Salter played by the scene-stealing David Harbour is also a fictional character, as is Danny Moore played by Orlando Bloom. 

Gran Turismo Movie review

Media reviews for the Gran Turismo movie have been mixed, with reviewers criticising the cliched plot and underdeveloped characters. However, we found the film entertaining and the racing scenes are thrilling.

You can find out our verdict in our Gran Turismo movie review.

For more articles like this, take a look at our Gran Turismo page.