After the success of Uncharted, Sony is taking another one of its game franchises for a spin, as it was confirmed back in May that Gran Turismo was getting a live-action film. Neill Blomkamp – writer and director of District 9 and Elysium – has been confirmed for the upcoming feature, and it’s just been confirmed that the release date for the film has been set for August 11, 2023. This is Hollywood’s second attempt at trying to adapt a racing game franchise, as Need for Speed was the first.
The film featured pre-Oscar wins Rami Malek, Aaron Paul, Dominic Cooper, and Imogen Poots and had mixed reactions from critics and audiences. The feature did fairly well internationally at the box office, collecting $203. 3 million worldwide based on a budget of $66 million. However, the domestic total was terrible, only making $44 million; This is possibly the reason that EA dropped the sequel plans despite announcing it a year later following the film’s release. Other than Need for Speed, there haven’t been many racing car movies except Fast and the Furious, which is a franchise that continues to clean up at the box office.
It’s genuinely surprising that Hollywood hasn’t tried to pump out more racing films like Furious since the franchise is such a massive success, but better late than never, I guess. Back to Gran Turismo, the original video game has been one of the staples of Playstation since 1997. Throughout the span of five generations of the game console, the game has been a high benchmark for racing video games both critically and financially. The latest game, Gran Turismo 7, came out back in March 2022 and was also praised highly by critics, though fans were none too pleased with the latest version. That all stems from the fact that Gran Turismo 7 can’t be played offline and is riddled with microtransactions.
Still, the franchise has pulled in over $4 billion in sales revenue. Gran Turismo isn’t particularly known for its story like The Last of Us or Halo, so it should be interesting to see what Neill Blomkamp comes up with within the movie. Obviously, racing will be involved, but will Gran Turismo be s story based on action like Ford v. Ferrari or action-based like Need for Speed and Fast and Furious? Several high-profile names have been cast for the upcoming feature: Orlando Bloom, David Harbour, Djimon Hounsou, Geri Halliwell-Horner, and Darren Barnett.
The story is based on Jann Mardenborough, a British driver who began competing in events such as the F3 European Championship after winning the GT Academy reality show at 19 years old. The exact synopsis of the upcoming film is as follows:
Based on a true story, ‘Gran Turismo’ 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 race car driver. The film was written by American Sniper’s Jason Hall and King Richard’s Zach Baylin. Recently, David Harbour discussed the video game adaptation with Collider, and though he doesn’t dive much deeper into the story, he does highlight his experience working with Neill Blomkamp,”Neill is so cool and such a good director that it’s really been a joy to work on this movie, and this movie’s going to be… Talk about not what you expect, with him at the helm there’s a viscrealness to this movie, to this video game world that is so cool. I can’t wait for you to see this movie. ”
Neill Blomkamp is indeed a talented filmmaker, though there’s no denying that he’s had a few setbacks following the success of District 9. However, with a pair of strong writers and a high-caliber cast attached to the project, this has all the tools to be a truly great video game adaptation.
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