Thanks to the box office success of Uncharted, we’re starting to see an influx of video game franchises being adapted for films and TV shows. For racing game fans, Gran Turismo is heading to the big screen in an upcoming film directed by District 9's Neill Blomkamp and inspired by the GT Academy.
According to Deadline, a new TV show based on Gameloft’s arcade racing series Asphalt is also in development.
Asphalt being turned into a reality TV show
Whereas the Gran Turismo film will be scripted, Deadline reports that the Asphalt TV show will be a “non-scripted reality competition.”
The Asphalt TV show will see gamers compete to earn a spot on the track. Finalists in the competition will then move into the “Asphalt House” and face driving challenges at the Asphalt Driving Academy. In the finals, drivers will race each other and “surprise guests,” with the last driver standing winning the prize. The winner will earn the title of “Asphalt Legend,” but it’s not clear what the prize will be.
The competition sounds like the GT Academy, but it remains to be seen if the winner will get to transition into real-life racing like previous GT Academy Winners who have gone on to race at Le Mans.
According to Deadline, the Asphalt reality TV series is in production by Radar Pictures (one of the producers behind the Jumanji film franchise) and N4XT Experience as part of a joint venture between the two companies.
“In our groundbreaking unscripted series, we are excited to take the Asphalt games to the next level by putting gamers in the driver’s seat of cool cars in turbocharged races,” said Radar Pictures’ Anthony Tringali. It’s not known when the Asphalt TV series will air yet or which TV network or streaming service will broadcast it, however.
Asphalt 9: Legends
Since launching in 2004, there have been 15 games in the Asphalt series. Most of these have been mobile-only, but the most recent game in the series, Asphalt 9: Legends, was also ported to Nintendo Switch and Xbox One. As of April 2021, over one billion players have downloaded the Asphalt series, so it’s not surprising to see it being adapted for a TV show.
In contrast to Gran Turismo, Asphalt games are pure arcade with a focus on over-the-top stunts and spectacular crashes, so it will be interesting to see how the series translates to a grounded reality TV show.