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David Harbour Was Apprehensive About Upcoming Gran Turismo Film

Director Neill Blomkamp says, ‘It was this organic merging of video game with a real-world setup and characters that work organically’

From the 1993 Super Mario Bros. film to Monster Hunter to Max Payne, video game film adaptations are often lacking. There have been more successful adaptations like The Last of US HBO series in recent years. However, many still associate video game adaptations with disappointment. Due to this sentiment, Stranger Things’ David Harbour was reluctant to sign on to the Gran Turismo film.

Gran Turismo is a racing sim series that first hit consoles in 1997. Most video games that gain film adaptations have a cohesive plot, which the Gran Turismo games lack. This, of course, added to Harbour’s and others’ scepticism of the project.

“When I got handed the script, I was like, ‘How would you be able to make a film about Gran Turismo? That makes no sense. It’s like, a racing simulator,” Director Neill Blomkamp told IGN.

After reading the script, however, Harbour and Blomkamp changed their minds. “I’m really happy with the approach that they took to this because I think we all know, unfortunately – I mean, it’s just a thing – video game movies don’t work,” Harbour is quoted as saying in the same article. “There’s a lot that have failed. Part of that reason is because what we love about video games is that we’re the player playing them… we’re controlling the action. We don’t necessarily want a director and a team of people to control our point of view, to tell us what the story is within it. We ourselves want to carve that story for ourselves.”

The debut trailer was recently released and we have to admit to being surprised how good it looks.

Gran Turismo: A True Story

Rather than making an exact adaptation of the game, the Gran Turismo film tells the true story of Jann Mardenborough. An avid Gran Turismo player, Mardenborough took part in GT Academy, leading him and other students to become actual racecar drivers.

“Jann’s story is unbelievable because he went from playing Gran Turismo in his parents’ house on a console – like a driving system console that he built – to placing third at Le Mans,” says Blomkamp. “It was this very organic merging of a video game backbone with a real-life, real-world setup and characters that work organically.”

Harbour adds, “This is great because… the video game is a part of the movie. I mean, it’s about a guy who played video games very intensely and then took that video game experience and put it on the track. It really becomes, to me, like a great sports movie.”

Gran Turismo releases in theatres on August 23rd, 2023

Written By

Jack Brassell is a freelance journalist and aspiring novelist. Jack is a self-proclaimed nerd with a lifelong passion for storytelling. As an author, Jack writes mostly horror and young adult fantasy. Also an avid gamer, she works as the lead news editor at Hardcore Droid. When she isn't writing or playing games, she can often be found binge-watching Parks & Rec or The Office, proudly considering herself to be a cross between Leslie Knope and Pam Beasley.

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