Gran Turismo – this 2023 Hollywood movie tells a true tale. A sim racer* in a virtual world becomes a professional racecar driver in the real highly competitive world, in this film.
In fact, this film is based on the unbelievable true story of Jann Mardenborough. From a gamer, he became a racer. Thus, this film is the ultimate wish-fulfilment tale of a teenage Gran Turismo player. His gaming skills won a series of Nissan (Motor Co. Ltd.) competitions to become an actual professional racecar driver.
It is worth noting that Gran Turismo is also a popular racing simulation video game. It was developed by Polyphony Digital and they were released on the PlayStation systems.
Focus on the term “Sim Racer”
*Sim Racer:- They are the gamers, who take part in a simulation motorsport racing in a virtual world. It means that sim racers drive virtual cars on computer-generated tracks based on real race tracks. The sim racing games are designed to mimic the feeling of driving a real car as closely as possible, and the racing is done using specialized software and hardware.
Synopsis (summary) of the 2023 movie that tells the true story of a racer
This film is about a team of unlikely underdogs – a struggling working-class gamer Jann (Archie Madekwe), a failed former racecar driver Jack (David Harbour), and an idealistic motorsport executive Danny (Orlando Bloom). Together, they risk it all to take on the most elite sport in the world. It is an inspiring, thrilling, and action-packed story that proves that nothing is impossible when you’re fueled from within.
Movie review of Gran Turismo (2023) film
About the Jaan Mardenborough
We liked this feel-good film. As it tells the stories of underdogs, who succeeded despite all kinds of odds which were stacked against them. They are shown to be living and fulfilling their lifelong dreams. More so in the case of Jaan Mardenborough – a sim racer in the virtual world of Gran Turismo. It is another interesting and inspiring sporting story of recent times. Thereby, it narrates the true life story of race car driver Jann, who was an avid gamer once.
We loved the peek into the world of the racing cars
This film gave us a rare chance to experience the highly competitive but exorbitantly expensive world of racing cars. It uses innovative filming methods to create a very tough motorsports environment for us. In addition, its adrenaline-pumping atmosphere brings the excitement of the motor race tracks to the average viewers like us. Thereby, we could really feel the buzz and hysteria around the race tracks. That too from the pov of race car drivers.
This film has a bunch of cool driving scenes on race tracks., which were filmed on real racetracks around the world, namely, the Slovakia Ring in Slovakia, the Dubai Autodrome in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, the Nürburgring Nordschleife in Germany, the Red Bull Ring in Austria, and the Hungaroring in Hungary.
The smart way for the brand placement
We are witnessing a smart way of brand and/or product placement in movies. As they did in Barbie‘s film, too. So this movie too has its fair share of brands, for example, Gran Turismo, PlayStation, Nissan, Sony, Michelin, etc. The lines between real-life stories and the commercialization of film stories are getting blurred, nowadays.
A wonderful bunch of actors & the conclusion
Its actors led by David Harbour (Jack Salter), Orlando Bloom (Danny Moore), Archie Madekwe (Jann Mardenborough), Geri Halliwell (Lesley Mardenborough), Djimon Hounsou (Steve Mardenborough), etc have done a good job to keep us hooked. Before we conclude here, we must share this monologue that we liked, as it is about overcoming guilt and fear to surge ahead and finish at the top.
It is a good sports movie to watch if you like the inspiring stories about the real-life underdogs. More so, when you read such news stories about the amazing lives of some well-known sportspersons around the world. Furthermore, this sports film depicted a high-speed, high-stakes, high-risk and high-drama-filled tale. This film gives the adrenaline rush.
Spoilers Alert – about Jann & other real-life characters in this film
About real-life gamer & racer – Jann Mardenborough
Jann Mardenborough – the gamer
In real life, Jann Mardenborough is a professional race car driver from Wales (United Kingdom, who earned his reputation as a top gamer of Gran Turismo. Subsequently, he won the competition to join team Nissan after winning the Nissan PlayStation GT Academy.
Jann Mardenborough – the racer
Jann was the third Nissan GT Academy winner in 2011 after Spanish Lucas Ordoñez in 2008 and French Jordan Tresson in 2010. At that time, he was the competition’s youngest-ever winner. After being picked and trained by the Nissan racing car team, he has raced at Le Mans in Le Mans Prototype (LMP1 & LMP2) cars, as well as racing for Carlin Motorsport in single-seater motor racing series GP3 Series and for Nissan across many Japanese tournaments.
Jann Mardenborough – about his sporting life
A few years later, Sports Pro Media chose Jann as one of the 50 most marketable athletes in 2015. Jann was then racing in Super Grand Touring (Super GT is a long-distance racing competition driven by a couple of drivers per car sharing the driving duty) and Super Formula achieving top podium finishes and wins in both.
Then from 2019 to 2022, Jann became the official simulator driver for the Nissan Formula E team.
Significantly, in this film, Jann allowed the filmmakers to include his 2015 horror crash at the Nürburgring Nordschleife race track, which killed one person. Because he felt it “would have been a disservice for the audience for that not to be in there”. This scene is one of the critical dramatic scenes in this film.
In addition, according to the ending credits, the real-life Jann Mardenborough plays a stunt double in the film for the actor who portrays himself.
Other characters in this film are inspired by real-life people
About Darren Cox
The real-life Darren Cox has inspired Danny Moore’s (Orlando Bloom) character in this film. Darren was a former Nissan Europe executive who founded GT Academy in 2008 to help Sony PlayStation so that racing gamers could have a chance to become professional racing drivers in real life.
About Brian Heitkotter & Lucas Ordoñez
Matty Davis’ (Darren Barnet) character is loosely based on the real-life Brian Heitkotter, who was the winner of GT Academy alongside Jann in 2011. Whereas, the real-life Lucas Ordoñez has inspired Antonio Cruz’s (Pepe Barroso) character in it. Lucas was a Spanish racing gamer and the inaugural GT Academy winner.
Key details of the 2023 movie that tells the true story of a racer
|Original language||English (USA & UK)|
|Duration||2 hours 14 minutes|
|Writers||Jason Hall & Zach Baylin|
|Cast||David Harbour (Jack Salter), Orlando Bloom (Danny Moore), Archie Madekwe (Jann Mardenborough), Geri Halliwell (Lesley Mardenborough), Djimon Hounsou (Steve Mardenborough), Takehiro Hira (Kazunori Yamauchi), Maeve Courtier-Lilley (Audrey), etc.|
|Taglines||From Gamer to Racer.|
Poster of the 2023 movie that tells the true story of a racer
Rating of the 2023 movie that tells the true story of a racer
|FM’s short comment||Based on the incredible true sporting story of recent times, Gran Turismo keeps you hooked and makes you cheer for these lovable underdogs.|
Trailer of the 2023 movie that tells the true story of a racer
Bonus:- links to some of the video clips related to this film
Also, if you wish, you can check out the exclusive official 10-minute clip of the Gran Turismo film on YouTube. In addition, Jann often listens to Kenny G: Songbird and Enya: Orinoco Flow (Sail Away) (1988) music in it. Perhaps to relax and focus before the races. Thus, if you like good music like us, then check out these two tracks.
In the end, it is worth noting that GT Academy Europe (2008) was cancelled in 2016. Besides, its spin-offs GT Academy International (2008) and GT Academy USA (2011) ended in the same year.
Featured Image & Poster of Gran Tourismo (2023) Film | Columbia Pictures & Sony Pictures.