Ready, set, race.
The PlayStation video game franchise “Gran Turismo” inspired the real-life story of Jann Mardenborough, a young teenager who began a racing career. Now, director Neill Blomkamp (“District 9”) is bringing that story to the big screen.
“Gran Turismo” stars Archie Madekwe as the aforementioned teen who aspires to become a professional race car driver with the help of his trainer (David Harbour) and a motorsport marketing executive (Orlando Bloom). Djimon Hounsou portrays Mardenborough’s father, while Darren Barnet plays a GT Academy driver threatened by his new opponent.
“Top Gun: Maverick” director Joseph Kosinski was originally set to helm the feature in 2015. Also that same year, Blomkamp was attached to a fifth “Alien” film starring Sigourney Weaver.
The “Gran Turismo” video game is a racing simulation from developer Polyphony Digital, led by Kazunori Yamauchi. The original game featured recreations of real-life vehicles and spurred a 14-installment franchise that became one of the highest-selling video game series for Sony PlayStation.
Jason Hall and Zach Baylin penned the screenplay, with Asad Qizilbash, Carter Swan, Doug Belgrad and Dana Brunetti producing the film through Columbia Pictures, PlayStation Productions, Trigger Street Productions and 2.0 Entertainment. “Gran Turismo” is a Sony Pictures release.
Meanwhile, director Blomkamp’s films have seen varying success since “District 9” earned Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Editing, and Best Visual Effects Oscar nominations in 2010. His sci-fi features since have included “Elysium” and “Chappie,” plus the horror film “Demonic.”
As of late 2021, the South African writer-director did confirm that a “District 9” sequel was well into the writing stage. The film’s star, Sharlto Copley, said in an early 2022 IndieWire interview, “I’ve wanted to do it since we did the first one. It was really Neill coming round with sort of where the world’s been going. And feeling like he has something to say again. We’ve been throwing drafts back and forth and hopefully getting close to something that we can make that will have some relevance.”
“Gran Turismo” premieres August 11 in theaters. Check out the trailer below.