Watch the first “Gran Turismo” movie teaser trailer

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Sony Pictures’ motion picture “Gran Turismo” is coming to theaters Aug. 11, 2023, and we now have a teaser trailer showing what to expect.

The short video is more of a sneak peak than a trailer. It includes a few glimpses of on-track action with recent sports car prototypes and GT cars. In the spirit of the Sony video game series on which the film is based, director Neill Blomkamp appears to be going for a more realistic feel than, say, the “Need for Speed” movie that premiered in 2014.

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Rumored since 2013 and confirmed in 2022 to be on Sony’s release slate, the movie is based on a true story. It will recount the career of British racing driver Jann Mardenborough, who broke into real-life racing by playing “Gran Turismo.” Mardenborough is played by Archie Madekwe from the Apple TV+ series “See,” and he is joined in the film by David Harbour of “Stranger Things” fame and Orlando Bloom, who made his name in the “Lord of the Rings” movies.

For those unfamiliar with the story, “Gran Turismo” publisher Sony Computer Entertainment once ran a competition with Nissan called GT Academy. Between 2008 and 2016, it pitted gamers against each other for the chance to become a Nissan factory driver. The competition seems to factor into the movie’s plot, as a number of young drivers in identical racing overalls and a crop of Nissan GT-Rs can be glimpsed in the trailer. 

Mardenborough won the 2011 GT Academy at age 19 and went on to race at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2013, finishing third in the LMP2 class behind fellow GT Academy graduate Lucas Ordoñez. He returned to Le Mans in 2015 in the top LMP1 class with the factory Nissan team, driving the Nissan GT-R LM Nismo prototype, which aimed to leapfrog more established competitors with a novel front-wheel-drive design that incorporated downforce-generating ducts.

Things didn’t go well. Mardenborough and co-drivers Max Chilton and Olivier Pla failed to finish in what turned out to be an uncompetitive and unreliable car. Le Mans 2015 ended up being the car’s only race, and Mardenborough’s most high-profile career moment so far. That’s not exactly a Hollywood ending.

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