Gran Turismo swaps gaming rigs for the silver screen in new trailer

by Antony Ingram
3 May 2023 2 min read

For a brief time in the 1990s and early 2000s, movie adaptions of video games were all the rage; think Super Mario Brothers, Street Fighter, Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within.

With the HBO series of The Last Of Us, the new Mario movie, and now Gran Turismo, there’s clearly a bit of a resurgence – though today, the movies are the bit players: the global videogame market in the 2020s is twice the size of the movie market.

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That means just a fraction of the tens of millions of people who’ve played Gran Turismo games over the years are ever likely to see the new movie, debuting in cinemas this August, but for film buffs starved of great racing movies, plenty of GT players will be hoping the new flick does the racing series justice.

What’s clear from the trailer though is it’s not really a movie about a game: Instead, it’s a story based on true events, following the career trajectory of Jann Mardenborough, the gamer who won the Gran Turismo Academy in 2011, beating 90,000 entrants around the world for a chance to win a real racing contract.

Mardenborough has since gone on to compete in events as diverse as European F3, British GT, and the 2015 24 Hours of Le Mans. You go into the movie knowing on-screen Mardenborough, played by Archie Madekwe, makes it then, but the trailer suggests there’ll be plenty of action and drama along the way.

The film is directed by Neill Blomkamp, previously known for sci-fi flicks District 9, Elysium, Chappie, and Demonic – so it’ll be interesting to see how his style translates to a movie more similar to the likes of recent titles Ford vs Ferrari and Rush, and classics like Le Mans and Grand Prix.

Madekwe stars alongside David Harbour and Orlando Bloom, as well as Djimon Hounsou as Jann’s father, and Geri Halliwell as Jann’s mother. Halliwell, of course, already has quite a significant connection to motorsport – the former Spice Girl is married to Red Bull Racing team principal, Christian Horner.

Colour us intrigued, anyway, but if you’ll allow us just one criticism even at this early stage, we’d like a good word with whoever has fiddled with the iconic Gran Turismo font in the movie’s logo. At least the GT lettering has made it through unscathed…

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