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The big picture: Sony Pictures Entertainment has published the first official trailer for Gran Turismo, the upcoming movie featuring the gaming franchise of the same name and based on a true story. The flick focuses on Jann Mardenborough, a teenaged Gran Turismo player who bested 90,000 others in a competition hosted by Sony and Nissan and was given the opportunity to become a professional race car driver.
Gran Turismo is directed by Neill Blomkamp and stars David Harbour as Jann’s trainer, Orlando Bloom as a motorsports marketing executive, and Geri Halliwell of Spice Girls fame as Jann’s mother. It also features Emelia Hartford, a well-known automotive content creator with more than a million followers on YouTube.
Film adaptations of video games are notoriously tricky, and that is doubly true for movies and TV shows based on racers. Need for Speed turned a profit at the box office but did not do much for critics and Peacock’s upcoming Twisted Metal series could go either way based on the first trailer.
Gran Turismo could be different. Again, it is based on a true story and at least from what we are seeing in the trailer, the action sequences do not look so Hollywood that you have to fully suspend reality to get through them. Then again, action and explosions sell tickets – it is why the Fast and Furious franchise is still going. Should Gran Turismo steer too clear of that formula, it could backfire.
Either way, Sony has had plenty of time to craft the story. Talk of a Gran Turismo movie started making the rounds in 2013 although not everyone attached to the project at the time would see it through. The last mainline entry in the driving game franchise, Gran Turismo 7, launched last year – more than 24 years after the original.
Gran Turismo is due out in theaters on August 11, 2023.
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