Gran Turismo is a video game series entirely devoid of character. That’s not a criticism, just a fact: it wants to be a glossy car brochure, not tell a story, and it’s an approach that has served the games well over the decades. Now that Hollywood is making a Gran Turismo movie, though, that could have been a problem.
How do you tell a story about a video game series with no story outside of “methodically buy nicer cars over hundreds of hours”? In Gran Turismo’s case, you don’t look inside the game, you look at the culture and events surrounding it, which is a surprisingly clever move.
For a long time now, developers Polyphony Digital have held very serious competitions—the GT Academy—where fans could play their games in competitive scenarios, and winners would then be given a chance to drive an actual car in an actual race. Sometimes, these drivers end up being so good that they go out and win in real life as well.
As Deadline report, that’s going to be basis of the upcoming Gran Turismo movie, which excitedly is going to be directed by District 9 and Elysium’s Neill Blomkamp. “Based on a true story, the film 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.”
While he’s not named specifically, they’re surely referring to Lucas Ordóñez, the inaugural winner of the GT Academy and a driver who after winning virtually went on to “race in the European GT4 Cup campaign…where the Spaniard scored a podium on debut, took two victories during the year, and finished the season as runner-up in the championship.”
Ordóñez raced professionally with Nissan for a decade after winning GT Academy. The movie, meanwhile, will be out on August 11, 2023.