Our First Glimpse of the ‘Gran Turismo’ Movie Proves It’s Really Happening

Orlando Bloom is in it, but does not, in fact, play a talking Aston Martin DB7. Unfortunately.

byChris Tsui| PUBLISHED Jan 5, 2023 1:38 PM
Our First Glimpse of the ‘Gran Turismo’ Movie Proves It’s Really Happening
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A concept once thought of as a joke-slash-Sony-marketing-exec-fever-dream is finally coming to fruition. Filming on the Gran Turismo movie has apparently finished and Sony Pictures released the first glimpse of what the film will look like.

Some basic facts to get out of the way: the movie will tell the real-life story of Jann Mardenborough, a GT Academy winner who went from gamer to actual, professional race car driver via the video game-based driver competition. And it looks like the cinematic depiction of that journey will include all of the Gran Turismo and Nissan branding that was present in the real thing, with at least one racing scene in which the protagonist races against a grid of other, budding gamer-racers in equal Nismo GT-R machinery decked out in GT Academy stickers. The Le Mans prototype that appears in what is presumably the climax of the movie does not shy away from the PlayStation stickers either.

Plot, subject matter, and in-universe sponsorships won't be the only things this movie borrows from the video game, though. Peep the GT-style chase camera angle at about 14 seconds in.

This movie's biggest human star is arguably Orlando Bloom, but David Harbour of Stranger Things fame also appears as another headphone-wearing, older-man-in-the-paddock character. Neill Blomkamp serves as the director, a name you may recognize from the credits of District 9 and Elysium, which means he's the sort of director with experience melding action and implausible-yet-totally-plausible stories. It's still early days, of course, but the racing footage we can see looks at least somewhat promising.

Car movies and video game movies may not have the greatest track records, no pun intended, but I remain cautiously optimistic about this one despite it being both. Hollywood has occasionally struck gold making movies out of stuff that doesn't sound like they'd make good movies. Let's hope the big screen version of PlayStation's flagship racing game ends up being more Lego Movie rather than Emoji Movie.

In any case, Gran Turismo will be in theaters Aug. 11.

Got a tip or question for the author about the GT movie? You can reach him here: chris.tsui@thedrive.com