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Gran Turismo - What We Know So Far

These days, Sony Pictures and Sony Pictures Television are betting big on adaptations of their blockbuster video game series. Last year saw the release of the not-quite-critically-acclaimed "Uncharted" game, based on the popular games of the same name. That bet paid off, as it went on to gross more than $400 million (via Box Office Mojo). There's also the upcoming first season of a TV series based on "The Last of Us," which will premiere on HBO in 2023. On top of that, there are plans for projects based on "Twisted Metal," "God of War," "Horizon," and "Ghost of Tsushima" (per Fanbyte).

But before most of those will ever see the light of day, we'll also be getting a movie based on the "Gran Turismo" racing game franchise. "Gran Turismo" dates back to 1997 on the PlayStation, and it's one of the most popular in the platform's history. The most recent title, 2022's "Gran Turismo 7," won over the critics and fans alike. 

A movie based on "Gran Turismo" has been in the works since as early as 2013, but the first version of the project was shelved in 2018 (via GT Planet). Sony resurrected the movie earlier this year with a new director and a new script, and it's quite far along in the process. Here's everything we know so far about the "Gran Turismo" movie.

What is the release date for Gran Turismo?

As reported by The Hollywood Reporter, the Gran Turismo movie will be released on August 11, 2023, in theaters. The Hollywood Reporter also announced that filming began in mid-September 2022, in Europe. On September 30, The Budapest Reporter confirmed that filming did indeed begin in Budapest.

Overall, 2023 will be a big year for Sony Pictures, with "Gran Turismo" joining several other movies on its release schedule that are based on previously existing properties. Sony Pictures will be releasing two Marvel films next year, "Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse" on June 2, and a Kraven the Hunter movie October 6, which will star Aaron Taylor-Johnson in the lead role. There's also a children's movie based on the book "Harold and the Purple Crayon," which comes out on June 30, as well as a still-untitled "Ghostbusters" sequel that will come out on December 20 (per Sony Fandom).

Who is in the cast of Gran Turismo?

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the "Gran Turismo" movie will star Archie Madekwe in the role of Jann Mardenborough–more on that below. The young Madekwe previously appeared in Ari Aster's "Midsommar," and in the Jason Momoa dystopic future series "See" (per IMDb). 

"Stranger Things'" own Sheriff Jim Hopper, David Harbour, will have a major supporting role. He'll be playing a retired race car driver who mentors Madekwe's character in the sport. Harbour's character hasn't been named yet, and it's not clear if it's based on a real person. 

The Hollywood Reporter also reported that "Pirates of the Caribbean" star Orlando Bloom will be playing "a hungry marketing exec who is selling the sport of motor racing ... and just may believe in its art, too." 

Finally, "Never Have I Ever's" Darren Barnet will be playing an antagonistic role as a top-ranked driver at the GT Academy who's jealous of the gamer's sudden success (via The Hollywood Reporter).

What is the plot of Gran Turismo?

While we don't yet have an official plot synopsis for the "Gran Turismo" movie, the Deadline report did note that it will be based on a true story, about a "Gran Turismo" player who wins a series of competitions, which results in him getting an opportunity to race cars for real. So, it'll be a high-octane fish-out-of-water story.

Whose story is it? Per IGN, it will be based on the life of Jann Mardenborough, a "Gran Turismo" player who became an actual race car driver. Born in England in 1991, Mardenborough competed on the third season of "GT Academy," the reality series sponsored by Nissan and PlayStation that challenged "Gran Turismo" players to put their skill to the test with the goal of becoming an actual race car driver. Mardenborough won the third season in 2011, beating out 90,000 competitors and becoming the youngest winner in the show's history. He's still racing competitively today (per Gran Turismo).

Beyond that, it remains to be seen how closely the movie will follow Mardenborough's story. No doubt more will be revealed in the coming months.

Who's writing, directing, and producing Gran Turismo?

Back on May 26, Deadline reported that director Neill Blomkamp will be helming the project. This will be the first video game adaptation for the South African/Canadian-born director, who's mostly known for his science fiction films. Blomkamp broke out in 2009 with the extraterrestrial movie "District 9," and he's also directed "Elysium" and "Chappie."

The script is being written by Jason Hall, who previously wrote "American Sniper" in 2014 and "Thank You for Your Service" in 2017. Hall is also an actor who played the character Devon MacLeish on eight episodes of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer."

On the producing side, former Sony executive Doug Belgrade ("Bad Boys for Life") is listed, as is Dana Brunetti ("The Social Network," "House of Cards"), the latter of whom was involved in the previous iteration of this project. There's also Asad Qizilbash and Carter Swan from PlayStation productions, both of whom produced "Uncharted."