First Gran Turismo movie trailer spotlights the ‘gamer to racer’ pipeline

Gran Turismo isn't quite the straightforward video game adaptation its name suggests.
gran turismo first trailer

Sony Pictures has released the first, dramatic trailer for Gran Turismo, the movie based on the real-life story of Jann Mardenborough, a British race car driver who began his career playing the Gran Turismo video games, before being inducted into the ‘virtual-to-reality’ GT Academy.

From humble origins, Mardenborough rose to become a professional race car driver, using many of the skills he learned from Gran Turismo to stake his place in the racing world. In the years since becoming the youngest winner of the GT Academy competition in 2011, he has competed in the Formula 3 European Championship, the gruelling 24 Hours of Le Mans, the Super GT, the Super Formula Championship, and the FIA World Endurance Championship.

Gran Turismo will dramatise his rise to the race track – seemingly, with a fair amount of dunking on his background as a sim racing fan.

Read: Gran Turismo 7 wants you to give a shit about cars

You can check out the first trailer for the upcoming film from Sony Pictures below:


The film stars Archie Madekwe (Midsommar) as Mardenborough, and he’s accompanied by David Harbour (Stranger Things) as trainer Jack Salter, and Orlando Bloom (The Lord of the Rings) as Danny Moore, a motorsport marketing executive inspired by the real-life founder of GT Academy.

The film is directed by Neill Blomkamp, who is known for his work on dystopian fiction films like District 9 and Elysium.

In a recent interview with the PlayStation Blog, Blomkamp spoke of his enthusiasm for the film, expressing surprise that his work could be uplifting and inspiring – given his films usually tend towards nihilism.

‘My stuff tends to be a lot darker and more dystopian … but this movie felt, well, very inspirational,’ Blomkamp said. ‘It had never crossed my mind that I would direct a movie where the audience would leave the theater feeling uplifted and inspired. This was really appealing to me.’

‘Usually there’s someone exploding or some, like, genetically mutated creature running amok in my films. I just never would have thought in a trillion years that I would have made a race/sports movie. It’s even surprising now, saying it.’

Blomkamp’s unique perspective will certainly inject Gran Turismo with a sense of pep and originality. While seemingly over-dramatic, the film’s high-speed car races and intriguing real-life tale inspire strong curiosity for this adaptation.

Gran Turismo will hit global theatres in August 2023.

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05/16/2024 12:16 am GMT

Leah J. Williams is a gaming and entertainment journalist who's spent years writing about the games industry, her love for The Sims 2 on Nintendo DS and every piece of weird history she knows. You can find her tweeting @legenette most days.