Movies and TV shows based on video games have been all the rage in Hollywood since the huge success of the Super Mario Bros. Movie, Uncharted, and The Last of Us. But when Neil Blomkamp got a call from Sony asking if he wanted to direct a movie based on its ultra-serious, surreal racing game series Gran Turismo, he was initially confused.

“I almost wanted to read the script just to understand what they were talking about because it made no sense to me,” he told AFP. “Obviously, it’s just a racing simulator.”

In fact, there aren’t any characters in the Gran Turismo games like the Italian plumber or the fungus-crazed zombie that would be suitable for straight-to-Hollywood adaptations.As a result, the film’s script—written by the screenwriter king richard and Creed III — took a completely different and very meta approach.

It’s largely based on a marketing gimmick, and back in 2008 Sony and Nissan launched a competition where top Gran Turismo video game players could test their skills on an actual track. GT Academy takes PlayStation players out of the bedroom and puts them behind the wheel of a real racing car. Every year the winner has the opportunity to race against professional drivers at world-renowned circuits such as Silverstone and Le Mans.

One of the subjects of the film is Jann Mardenborough, a working-class teenager from Darlington, England, who was one of the first GT Academy gamers to successfully compete in real racing.

“I was struck by the way that it was both a biography and a video game movie,” said Blomkamp, ​​who directed “District 9” and “Elysium.” “Video games will become an element of the real world – the way Gran Turismo exists in our world.”

emotional weight

The film received mixed reviews, with The Guardian calling it an “ode to product placement”. But others praised the film’s surprising emotional weight – especially its handling of the fatal accident involving Maddenborough.

In 2015, on the famous Nürburgring in Germany, Maddenborough’s car flipped vertically into the air and broke through the fence, killing a spectator and injuring many others.

Maddenborough has taken no responsibility for the freak accident – though the movie suggests that racing purists who dislike his player background continue to whisper. Especially with the real Maddenborough serving as a stand-in for his character in the film, a tragic event that had to be handled with care.

“You can’t tell his story without that. It’s an integral part of his journey,” Blomkamp said. But Blomkamp admitted the accident was “very sensitive for Jen”.

While the real Maddenborough performed other driving stunts throughout the film, we decided to recreate the fatal crash using “literally 100% digital” technology.

Part of the reason is that the accident itself was so notorious and unusual, with the car rising vertically as it soared down the steep, undulating hill.

“We tried to match the car’s capabilities from the video footage we could find, basically pixel perfect,” Blomkamp said. Of course, the use of computer-generated visual effects (VFX) in this particular scene meant “no special effects at all”.

strike and hype

Another hurdle for the film is the ongoing strike in Hollywood. Stars such as Orlando Bloom, David Harbour, and Archie Madgui were unable to promote the film amidst the usual lavish premieres and teasing events amid actors and writers strikes over salaries and other conditions.

Sony has made the unusual decision to delay the movie’s release date from this Friday until Aug. 25, and offer fans an early preview before then, hoping to build word-of-mouth.

“Stars can’t promote movies, but audiences can,” a Sony spokesman said.


Samsung unveiled the Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Galaxy Z Flip 5, along with the Galaxy Tab S9 series and Galaxy Watch 6 series, at its first Galaxy Unpacked event in South Korea. We discuss the company’s new gadgets and more on the latest episode of the Orbital Gadgets 360 podcast.tracks are available for Spotify, Ghana, Giosavin, google podcasts, apple podcasts, amazon music and wherever you get your podcasts.

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