After talk of a gamer-to-racer movie fell through a couple of years ago, the Gran Turismo movie is back on track with the director of District 9.
Image credit: Sony Pictures Entertainment
Over recent years, video game based movies have been getting into their stride. After many years with pretty much all movies based on video games being terrible, filmmakers seem to have been able to overcome the curse. There are enjoyable films like Tomb Raider, Pokémon Detective Pikachu and the two Sonic The Hedgehog movies.
Back in 2013, there was talk of a movie based on Gran Turismo by Dana Brunetti and Michael De Luca, Oscar winning producers of The Social Network. It seemed to have entered development hell, but now we know that the film will be happening after all. District 9 director Neill Blomkamp is onboard and there is a release date of 11 August 2023.
The recent commercial success of the Uncharted movie (which made more than $400M) has undoubtedly contributed to this push by Sony to make more movie adaptations of their games. However, unlike Uncharted, the Gran Turismo games are not story based.
The upcoming Gran Turismo movie will instead be based on GT Academy. This was the program that took PlayStation gamers and turned them into track racers, of which the likes of Lucas Ordóñez and Jann Mardenborough are the highest profile graduates.
Ordóñez went on to finish second in class at Le Mans and was also Pro-Am champion in the Blancpain Endurance Series. He even shared a car at the Nürburgring 24 hours with Gran Turismo series creator Kazunori Yamauchi. The Spaniard now does Spanish language commentary for the Gran Turismo championships and is represented among the AI in GT7 campaign races.
Mardenborough went on to race in GT and Le Mans, but transitioned into single seaters and even won a GP3 race supporting the German Grand Prix in 2015. He also came very close to winning the 2014 Toyota Racing Series, the same championship that 2018 Gran Turismo esports champion Igor Fraga went on to win in 2020.
Hopefully the story of an average PlayStation gamer becoming a real racing driver will have mainstream appeal.
Who Else is Involved in the Gran Turismo Movie?
According to reports by movie sites The Wrap, ScreenRant and Deadline, Jason Hall is writing the screenplay. Hall is an Oscar-nominated screenwriter for American Sniper who also wrote and directed Thank You For Your Service. Producers Asad Qizilbash and Carter Swan are also working with PlayStation Studios on the project.
Currently, there are no actors attached to the project that we know of. Nor do any of us know if the protagonist will be based on any of the real GT Academy winners. Blomkamp and Hall may create an entirely fictional character for the film.
In any case, a movie about a gamer to racer story is long overdue. The Gran Turismo movie is set to release 11 August 2023. We will bring you the latest on it as we learn about the film.
What would you like to see in a Gran Turismo movie? Tell us on Twitter at @OverTake_gg or in the comments down below!