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Gran Turismo movie looks a lot like Gran Turismo, a bit less like a movie

First footage of real-life motorsport story revealed

Oli Welsh is senior editor, U.K., providing news, analysis, and criticism of film, TV, and games. He has been covering the business & culture of video games for two decades.

Sony has revealed the first footage of its Gran Turismo film during its press conference at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The short “sneak peek” video emphasizes the on-track action of the motorsport movie based on the PlayStation racing game series, but doesn’t do much to sell the story.

The video shows the lengths the filmmakers, led by director Neill Blomkamp (District 9), have gone to to recreate the look of the games with real-life race cars. Wheeling drone shots recall GT’s trailers and replay modes, while the gameplay experience is echoed in cockpit cameras and a remarkably accurate recreation of the games’ high, angled chase camera.

The film’s cast also appears in the video, addressing the audience directly to hype up the immersive qualities the racing sequences will have in movie theaters. “This movie is made for the cinema,” enthuses Orlando Bloom, promising “body-vibrating sound... The audience is going to feel every jolt, every thrill of this racing at 200 miles per hour.”

“It’s badass race-car action that you’re going to feel like you’re in the middle of,” adds David Harbour.

There will also be “drama” and “a love story”, apparently, according to Archie Madekwe, who plays Jann Mardenborough in the film. Gran Turismo is based on the story of the real Mardenborough, who went from playing Gran Turismo at home as a teen to a career as a racing driver thanks to the GT Academy contest and training program.

But we don’t get much sense of that story from this teaser. At a guess, Harbour’s character might be inspired by Darren Cox, the Nissan executive who made a deal with PlayStation to launch GT Academy, while Bloom looks the part as a potential Christian Horner-style racing team boss. Not featured in the trailer, but confirmed as joining the cast, are Darren Barnet (Paxton in Never Have I Ever), Djimoun Hounsou, and in a weird twist, Horner’s wife, former Spice Girl Geri Halliwell Horner.

Hopefully we’ll learn more from a proper trailer soon. Gran Turismo will be released in theaters on Aug. 11, 2023.

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