The Gran Turismo Movie Is Inspired By Rocky And Top Gun: ‘It’s The Story Of A Real-World Superhero’ – Exclusive Image

Gran Turismo

by Ben Travis |
Published on

You’d be forgiven for thinking that Gran Turismo is going to be a video game movie. It is, after all, named after a video game – the popular long-running PlayStation racing title – and lists PlayStation Productions among its credits. But rather than the likes of Tomb Raider, Uncharted, and The Last Of Us, Gran Turismo isn’t adapting a story or characters; two things that the games don’t have. Instead, it’s telling the based-on-truth story of Jann Mardenborough, the British youngster whose serious skills playing Gran Turismo led to him becoming a professional racing driver in real life.

Instead of an action-adventure movie in a video game world, Gran Turismo is set in ours – with director Neill Blomkamp and writers Zach Baylin and Jason Hall drawing from classic sports movies and underdog tales. “We talked about how this story could have elements of Rocky, in being about a character on the outside of an industry, who has a real desire to not just get into a particular sport, but to prove something to himself and his family,” Baylin tells Empire. “We [spoke] a lot about the original Top Gun and that idea of a character surrounded by the best of the best, coming in to learn what it means to sit in these extremely fast vehicles. What it means to have to be part of a team. What it means to have to overcome your own insecurities and ego in order to pilot something that can kill you and kill other people.”

The stakes, then, are high. “It’s the story of essentially a real-world superhero,” says Archie Madekwe, who plays Mardenborough. He, too, had a crash-course in racing. “Two years ago, this was not me. Racing was not my world. I didn’t care about cars. But that’s the thing about Jann – you don’t have to be a petrolhead to be inspired about what he achieved.” Finally – some hope that all those hours we’ve sunk into Zelda: Tears Of The Kingdom could lead to a real-life Bokoblin-battling career.

Empire – August 2023 – Rebel Moon newsstand cover

Read Empire’s full Gran Turismo feature in the Rebel Moon issue – on sale Thursday 6 July. Become an Empire member to access the digital edition in full on launch day, or pre-order a print copy online now here. Gran Turismo comes to UK cinemas from 11 August.

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us