David Harbor has reportedly joined the film Gran Turismo. Sony Pictures’ PlayStation Productions unit has roped in the Stranger Things actor to play an unnamed, retired driver, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Neil Blomkamp – best known for District 9 – directed the live-action adaptation of the best-selling racing simulation game. The script for the film Gran Turismo is co-written by Jason Hall (American Sniper) and Zach Bellin (King Richard). Sony is planning a theatrical release for the film on August 11, 2023.
While the original Gran Turismo games relied on racing challenges, instead of a coherent plot, Sony Pictures will weave an unrelated story that is influenced by a true story. Hollywood Reporter describes the adaptation as the ultimate “wish-fulfillment” story of a teenage Gran Turismo player whose gaming prowess won him a series of Nissan competitions, eventually joining the league as a professional driver. The newly-built Harbor will serve as a teacher and mentor for the young, aspiring racer.
Gran Turismo games are known for their highly detailed visuals and precise driving physics. So, it’s good to see that Sony came up with a unique approach to storytelling, while still staying true to the name Gran Turismo. Although the studio hasn’t specifically mentioned which real-life driver the premise is inspired by, the story seems to be similar. Jane Mardenborough, The British professional racecar driver began his career by participating in the GT Academy training program, which enlisted students to play simulation games, and over time, moved from virtual to real racing.
“As one of PlayStation’s longest-running and most beloved franchises, it’s great to partner with Columbia Pictures again to bring Gran Turismo to life in an exciting way,” said producer Asad Kizilbash. said in a prepared statement to THR. “We can’t wait for audiences to see Neil’s vision of this inspiring true story from gamer turned professional race car driver.”
Gran Turismo joins a growing list of PlayStation titles scheduled for a screen adaptation, including Amazon’s God of War series and Netflix’s Horizon Zero Dawn — the latter will be helmed by The Umbrella Academy creator Steve Blackman. Last month, HBO also released a teaser for its upcoming The Last of Us TV series, offering the first look at Nick Offerman’s bill, with an uncluttered beard and long, sleek hair.
The PlayStation Productions unit also plans to make movie adaptations for the zombie-survivor games Days Gone and Gravity Rush, a sci-fi adventure based on a character with anti-gravity superpowers.
The Gran Turismo film is eyeing an August 11, 2023, theatrical release date.