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Gran Turismo Movie Adaptation Is Coming To Cinemas August 11

Gran Turismo

Perhaps, 2023 will be the year for successful video game movie adaptations. From HBO’s The Last of Us movie adaptation to Nintendo and Illumination’s The Super Mario Bros. Movie, it appears movie producers are turning to video games for inspiration. The latter has crossed the $1 billion mark in grossing, making it the third title from Illumination to hit that milestone.

Gran Turismo

Gran Turismo appears to be the next video game that will get a movie adaptation. The Official Trailer was released on May 2 and in just 24 hours it has been viewed over 6.3 million times. This arguably shows the growing interest and expectation for video game adaptations.

Whether Gran Turismo will live up to the expectation hangs in the balance. There has been mixed reactions to the trailer with some saying that making movie adaptation of video game racing sims is a bad idea. The movie was directed by Neill Blomkamp, the same director behind Elysium and District 9.

The movie description that was released with the trailer said:

“Based on the true story of Jann Mardenborough, the film is the ultimate wish fulfillment tale of a teenage Gran Turismo player whose gaming skills won a series of Nissan competitions to become an actual professional racecar driver.”

Sony Pictures Entertainment – Gran Turismo – Official Trailer/YouTube

Prior to the official 3 minutes trailer release, Sony Pictures had earlier shared a 15-second teaser on May 1. Gran Turismo features David Harbour from Stranger Things. The racing sim video game adaptation is expected in cinemas on August 11.

Gran Turismo will not be a regular video game adaptation

Gran Turismo

In most video game adaptations for cinema screens, the story is usually culled from the video game—sometimes with minor or major alterations like we saw in The Last of Us and The Super Mario Bros. Movie respectively.

Gran Turismo will not be based on any game story. Instead, it will follow the true-life story of Jann Mardenborough (Archie Madekwe). This is understandable considering the fact that the Gran Turismo series lacks a solid depth of stories to choose from.

Gran Turismo was set in a world obsessed with racing sims. A tournament was arranged to find the best virtual racer. The winners of the tournament will get the chance to race on live tracks. However, it comes with a strict warning, “If you miss a line in the game it resets. If you miss it on the track, you could die.”

Mardenborough made a tough decision to enter the GT Academy competition. Not too long afterward, motorsport executive Danny Moore (Orlando Bloom) identifies the boy’s talent and connects him with trainer Jack Salter (David Harbour).

The racing sims adaptation parades a rich cast including David Habour, Orlando Bloom, Archie Madekwe, Darren Barnet, Geri Halliwell Horner, and Djimon Hounsou.

The missing element in the Gran Turismo trailer

Gran Turismo
Director Neill Blomkamp and Orlando Bloom on the set of Columbia Pictures GRAN TURISMO.

While I believe Gran Turismo has a great story to sell, the trailer did not do justice to that. The best I saw was the franchise’s ability to showcase gorgeous racing cars burning the tarmac at nerve-racking speed. The majority of the scenes portrayed video games in an obsessive way—and parents getting furious for the behavior.

Throughout almost 2 minutes of the official trailer, there was not a single scene that made me want to watch the movie. The only thing that feels like suspense—which still failed to hold my attention—in the entire trailer was when Mardenborough’s car was pushed to the wall by another driver and he looked totally anxious and overpowered.

The success of Gran Turismo on the big screen is really important as it may set the tone for the adaptation of other video game racing sims. However, I would rather tread with cautious optimism knowing that the movie will likely be the inflection for the snowballing success recorded by recent video game movie adaptations.

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