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The new ‘Gran Turismo’ movie will be in cinemas this August

Retelling one of GT Academy’s best drivers from the eyes of Neill Blomkamp

Fingers crossed that 'Moon Over the Castle' would appear in the soundtrack. PHOTO FROM SONY PICTURES

After giving a sneak preview earlier in the year, the upcoming Gran Turismo movie has just released its first official trailer. The 25-year-old racing game franchise is one of the very few in the genre to receive the Hollywood treatment.

Also starring the Fanatec Clubsport racing wheel. PHOTOS FROM SONY PICTURES

Directed by Neill Blomkamp (District 9, Chappie, and BMW Films’ The Escape), Gran Turismo retells and dramatizes the journey of Jann Mardenborough from winning the GT Academy tournament to competing in proper motorsport.

The main protagonist is portrayed by British actor Archie Madekwe, while David Harbour plays his coach. Orlando Bloom is Danny Moore, loosely based on GT Academy founder Darren Cox.

Neill Blomkamp's long love for the GT-R is finally acknowledged by Nissan. PHOTOS FROM SONY PICTURES

Most fans of the franchise are well aware of Mardenborough’s success, so their attention turns to some errors they immediately found. One worry is the direction of the movie, where in between the heart-pounding action scenes that Blomkamp is known for is a typical love story. It’s not something Gran Turismo is known for, but is there to sell the plot to a wider audience.

Feels surreal and almost nostalgic to see GT Academy on the new 'Gran Turismo' menu. PHOTOS FROM SONY PICTURES

One minor aspect that felt like a missed opportunity was how it’s not presented as a period piece. GT Academy was a project established from 2008 to 2016, and Jann’s win was in 2011 when Gran Turismo 5 was freshly released.

Understandably, Sony and Nissan wanted to advertise their latest products, so the viewers would see the game’s newest installment and the GT-R model instead of period-correct props from a decade prior.

This scene looks familiar. Anyone remember the 2012 Le Mans crash? PHOTOS FROM SONY PICTURES

Anachronisms aside, the new Gran Turismo film appears to be exciting and fun to watch as a Hollywood summer blockbuster, which is to be expected from a Blomkamp flick. However, the outcome would either be a cinematic masterpiece like Rush (2013), another stinker like Driven (2001), or somewhere in between.

We’ll have to wait until August 11 for its worldwide release (maybe a tiny bit longer for Philippine cinemas) to see if it holds up to our expectations.

Justin Young

Justin loves cars of all forms. Molded by motoring TV shows and Internet car culture, he sees the world from a different perspective that not many get to see every day.