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The new Gran Turismo movie will hit cinemas on 11 August 2023

And here’s your very first look at one of the finest racing sims up on the big screen

Published: 05 Jan 2023

One of the greatest racing games of all time is officially getting the Hollywood treatment. Gran Turismo – Kazunori Yamauchi’s ode to building the most realistic road and race car simulator for mere mortals – will be transformed into a proper movie.

And it’ll be a dramatisation of Jann Mardenborough’s unbelievable rise from gamer to bona fide racing driver via Nissan and GT’s rather brilliant GT Academy.

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A quick recap, then. GT Academy was an idea championed by former Nissan Europe boss Darren Cox; an idea to see if passionate Gran Turismo gamers could actually cut it in the real world of racing. After a promo day, a spark was ignited, and the idea was green lit by both Nissan and Sony.

In 2008 the Academy launched, featuring a raft of levels – qualifying on GT6, National Finals, a proper ‘Race Camp’ at Silverstone, and later a driver development programme. Spaniard Lucas Ordonez won the very first GT Academy in 2008, going on to race the Le Mans 24hrs in 2011 and 2013 (picking up a second and third placed finish).

It skipped a year in 2009, was won by Jordan Tresson in 2010, and then Brit Jann Mardenborough in 2011. Since then, he’s raced in Britcar, GT4, Blancpain, British GT, F3, in the WEC and Super GT. Suffice to say, the answer is very much ‘yes, a passionate gamer can succeed as a racer’.

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

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The film stars Archie Madekwe (as Jann), David Harbour, Orlando Bloom, Darren Barnet, Geri Halliwell Horner and Djimon Hounsou, is directed by Neill Blomkamp, and is scheduled for an 11 August release.

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