First Trailer for Neill Blomkamp’s ‘Gran Turismo’ Movie Teases A High-Stakes Adventure

Archie Madekwe’s Jann Mardenborough goes from being a hardcore gamer to a full-on professional race car driver in the first high-octane trailer for Neil Blomkamp’s Gran Turismo film. Video game adaptations are in full vogue right now and Sony, with its massive slate of heavy-hitting IPs, is jumping into the scene with yet another film adaptation that’s loosely inspired by the Gran Turismo gaming series on the PlayStation. Instead of being a usual one-to-one universe adaption, the upcoming movie shows a more comprehensive view of the influence of the video game itself.

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Blomkamp’s Gran Turismo movie is actually based on the true story of teenage player Jann Mardenborough, portrayed by Archie Madekwe, whose exceptional gaming prowess won him a series of Nissan-sponsored video game competitions to become an actual professional race car driver.

While the plot seems rather middling, the new trailer does have its moments and appears to be a racing spectacle packed with actual game tie-ins and a tinge of melodrama. The debut trailer opens up with Jann, who’s still an amateur gaming fanatic living at home with his father Steve (Djimon Hounsou) and his mother Lesley (Geri Halliwell). We see him living the typical gamer life, spending his days playing Gran Turismo on his racing sim setup with his friends.

'Gran Turismo' (2023) | Image: Sony

‘Gran Turismo’ (2023) | Image: Sony

In a scenario many gamers will relate to, Jann is regularly lectured for wasting time playing video games with his friends. When Jann tells his dad that he wants to follow his dream of racing, his dad gives him a reality check, informing him that race cars don’t come cheap and that it’s not their “world.” However, our protagonist’s life turns upside down when Orlando Bloom’s Danny Moore, a motorsport marketing executive (based on GT Academy founder Darren Cox) comes up with a wild proposition.

Moore’s once-in-a-lifetime scheme involves assembling the best Gran Turismo players from around the world and pitting them against each other, with the winner walking away as a professional racer for Nissan. While Danny’s insane idea is instantly shot down by Jack Salter (played by Stranger Things‘ David Harbour), Harbour’s Slater later agrees to train the “scrawny little gamer kids.”

Gran turismo trailer 3

Archie Madekwe in ‘Gran Turismo’ (2023) | Image: Sony

The training turns out to be much harder than players initially thought and we see shots of Salter mocking the kids for being lazy gaming nerds as well as familiarising them with the basics of professional race car driving. Later in the trailer, Jann is chosen as the lucky kid who gets to drive with Nissan but that’s just the beginning of what appears to be a challenging climb to the top.

Gran Turismo‘s screenplay has been penned by Jason Hall and Zach Baylin. Asad Qizilbash, Carter Swan, Doug Belgrad and Dana Brunetti produce the film with Columbia Pictures, PlayStation Productions, Trigger Street Productions and 2.0 Entertainment. With Gran Turismo all set to hit the big screen on August 11, it’ll be interesting to see whether the leaves the competition eating its dust or stalls at the starting line.

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Shubhendu Vatsa

Shubhendu Vatsa

Shubhendu Vatsa is an experienced reporter specialising in video game, eSports and technology coverage. A BTech IT graduate, Shubhendu has previously written for entertainment-based publications such as GiveMeSport, Touch, Tap, Play, Attack of the Fanboy, EssentiallySports, Twinfinite and The Load Out.