Gran Turismo; a welcome return for Orlando Bloom to the big screen as latest video game movie trailer drops

The first trailer for Gran Turismo dropped yesterday and already, it’s a welcome return for one Orlando Bloom.

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I’ll be the first at Peopleworld to admit it - when I saw the news that the popular Sony driving simulator Gran Turismo was getting a big screen outing, I immediately ragged on the prospect. You see, for every The Super Mario Bros. Movie that comes out making a success of the long maligned video game film adaptation, there is Alone In The Dark. Or Postal. Or just how meandering the Resident Evil franchise got before the sleeper success of Resident Evil: Welcome to Racoon City.

So when the trailer for the next Sony Pictures film dropped, I had my reservations - but given the unique story behind the film rather than using the video game ideas as is (much like that pretty bad Need For Speed adaptation we didn’t need with Aaron Paul), I found myself warming to the idea of watching the film. It also helps that the cast are a lovable bunch, with David Harbour present and the welcome return of Orlando Bloom to our cinema screens - and I do have a soft spot for the former Legolas.

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Though Orlando Bloom has been on our screens regular through his role in Amazon Video’s series Carnival Row, it’s been longer than a hot minute since we last saw him on the silver screen - one has to go back to 2021 with his role in Needle in a Haystack to get a sizeable chunk of Bloom on the big screen, and all the way back to 2017 for a starring role in the Chinese-American production, The Shanghai Job. 

But he is set to have a sizable role in the film, based incredibly on a true story, as Danny Moore, a motorsport marketing executive based on the real life figure Darren Cox, the creator and director of GT Academy that forms the basis of the film. The GT Academy was set up to allow those prominent with the Gran Turismo video game, in all its realistic (and annoying getting those licences first thing in the game) glory, a chance to transition their skills into the world of professional racing. 

The GT Academy also has had some success with the graduates, demonstrating that the concept in executions works just as well as it did theoretically. On 8 February 2015, GT Academy graduates Wolfgang Reip (2012) and Florian Strauss (2013) teamed with Super GT driver Katsumasa Chiyo to compete in the Bathurst 12 Hour at the famous Mount Panorama Circuit in Australia. Driving a Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3 for the NISMO Athlete Global Team in the Class AA, they completed 269 laps to claim the overall race win.

The crowning achievement of the GT Academy though goes to 2011 graduate Jann Mardenborough, whose achievements since winning GT Academy saw him named as one of the 50 most marketable athletes in the world by Sports Pro Media in 2015 - so naturally, he is set to be the main protagonist of the movie, portrayed by British actor Archie Madekwe. You may know him from his role in A24’s stunning folk horror film Midsommar or in the Neil Burger science fiction feature Voyagers, also featuring Tye Sheridan and Lily-Rose Depp.

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Gran Turismo is set to be released in cinemas from August 11 2023 - should it receive good reviews, especially regarding Bloom’s performance, could we see the actor pick up some more larger movie roles in due course? File this one, once again, under “watch this space.”

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