Racing Dreams Become Reality in the 'Gran Turismo' Trailer

David Harbour, Orlando Bloom and Archie Madekwe star in the Neill Blomkamp-directed film

BY Calum SlingerlandPublished May 4, 2023

It isn't just The Last of Us: as the highest-selling video game franchise under Sony's PlayStation brand, perhaps it was only a matter of time before popular racing sim series Gran Turismo was given the green light to be adapted for screen. Now, the film's first trailer has come across the finish line.

Directed by Neill Blomkamp, the Gran Turismo film follows a teenage player of the Gran Turismo video games, who parlayed his skills steering virtual cars with joysticks into becoming a real-life professional racecar driver.

Incredibly, it's based on the true story of Jann Mardenborough, the English racing driver who, in 2011, beat 90,000 entrants in the now-defunct GT Academy competition to become its third and youngest winner.

Active between 2008 and 2016, GT Academy was a joint venture between Sony and Nissan that offered exceptionally skilled Gran Turismo players a chance to go beyond the game and earn a real-life professional racing career with the automaker.

In the film, Mardenborough is played by Archie Madekwe (Midsommar, See), while Orlando Bloom appears to enlist him for GT Academy competition. David Harbour also stars as a racing coach — initially in disbelief at the prospect of strapping gamers into high-powered racing machines — who stresses to the competitors that should you crash the car in the real world, there are no respawns.

Gran Turismo races into theatres in August, and will follow Blomkamp's 2021 feature Demonic. In 2021, the South African-Canadian director teased that a sequel to District 9 was being written.

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