Everybody likes splashy breaking news but, sometimes, they may not be entirely accurate… and that’s what seems to have happened a few weeks back during Sony’s investor briefing: the company revealed that it’s working on God of War, Horizon and Gran Turismo TV shows, only to clarify the next day that the Gran Turismo production is actually a movie — without sharing any details other than its desire to have Neil Blomkamp direct it.
Well, now Deadline has some new and important information to share: the Gran Turismo movie is already in production with Neil Blomkamp officially in the director’s chair and slated for an August 11, 2023 theatrical release. It’s a Columbia Pictures film based on a screenplay written by Jason Hall, while PlayStation Productions’ Asad Qizilbash and Carter Swan will serve as producers alongside Doug Belgrad and Dana Brunetti. Yes, that’s just thirteen months away, which could be both a good and bad thing.
What will most probably be a good thing is Sony’s choice regarding the film’s script. According to the company it is “based on a true story, 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”. This is good news: making a quality movie based on a racing game is not easy, as there’s practically no background, plot or characters to base an interesting screenplay on. People who have watched 2014’s Need for Speed can attest to that. Making it not about the racing but rather about a person’s journey is something many more people can identify with and it will be interesting to see how Blomkamp — of Elysium and District 9 fame — handles this on the big screen.
Interestingly enough, PlayStation gamers and Gran Turismo players in particular may be in for a treat as well… but for a totally different reason: the logline of this film, as published by Sony, is really, really close to one for another film that GT fans may remember. Back in 2013 there was supposed to be a Gran Turismo film in production telling the story of Lucas Ordonez, a Spanish gamer who graduated from GT Academy — Sony’s top professional players’ program and competition — and went on to participate in official Le Mans and GT Series racing championships all around the world.
It’s not yet known whether the new Gran Turismo movie is still about Ordonez or another GT Academy graduate that made it to professional racing driver status. It should make for a different take on the life of dedicated, pro-level gamers, though, as well as provide the mainstream audience with a rare look into the world of e-sports (which is still largely unexplored in movies). It should also prove to be a great marketing opportunity for Gran Turismo 7, which will be a year and a half old by then, with a user base of several million consumers and more than enough hooks for premium content related to the movie or online activities that promote said movie (or both). Roll on, 2023!