Per Deadline, Sony Pictures and PlayStation Productions are developing a movie adaptation of iconic driving game Gran Turismo.
The project is only in the earliest stages of development right now, but the studios are reportedly circling Neill Blomkamp (District 9) to direct.
Plot details are under wraps right now, but there is a rich history behind the game, which was originally created by Polyphony and Kazunori Yamauchi in 1997. It was quickly hailed as one of the most authentic driving simulators for its focus on precise graphics, driving physics and attention to detail of its cars, which players would build and race.
The series has sold more than 85 million copies, with the most recent edition, Gran Turismo 7, hitting shelves back in March.
Sony Pictures and PlayStation Productions teamed up on a video game adaptation earlier this year, and it went pretty well. Uncharted, starring Tom Holland and Mark Wahlberg, went on to gross over $400 million worldwide, so it’s no surprise they’re collaborating again.
Sony make the PlayStation, so they have a whole pipeline of games to adapt into films if they want. And that seems to be part of the strategy right now. Sony are also developing a movie version of action adventure game Ghost of Tsushima, which has sold 8 million copies since its July 2020 debut. Takashi Doscher was hired to write the adaptation last month.
There’s also a Twisted Metal film adaptation in the works at Peacock set to star Anthony Mackie, Stephanie Beatriz, Thomas Haden Church and Neve Campbell.
And Sony Pictures TV are also getting in on the act, and developing the high-profile Last Of Us series for HBO, which is being created by Craig Mazin (Chernobyl).
Blomkamp never quite turned into the incredible auteur many predicted after District 9. His films since then – Elysium, Chappie, and Demonic – have gradually deteriorated in reception, even though he still has plenty of interesting sci-fi ideas. If he does indeed sign on for Gran Turismo, perhaps this can be the project to get his career back on track.
How a Gran Turismo film will actually work is anyone’s guess. It’s a driving simulator, after all. Perhaps it will look similar to 2014’s Need For Speed film adaptation, which adapted the game into an action thriller revolving around a street racer who sets off to race cross-country as a way of avenging his friend’s death at the hands of a rival.
There have been plenty of thrilling racing storylines in film history, so Gran Turismo could try to mirror some of those. But all Sony and PlayStation will likely care about is that the games have sold over 85 million copies worldwide during the franchise’s existence, so Gran Turismo is a well-known brand with a potentially huge audience waiting to be tapped into.