How Rocky and Top Gun influenced Gran Turismo movie

Chris Tilly
Archie Madekwe as Jann Mardenborough in Gran Turismo.

Video hame adaptation Gran Turismo is fast approaching, and the creative team behind the movie have cited both Rocky and Top Gun as influences.

Gran Turismo launched on the PlayStation in 1997, and the franchise has since sold more than 90 million copies worldwide.

A racing simulation, GT has become the most successful franchise under the PS banner, with the most recent iteration – Gran Turismo 7 – releasing in 2022.

Now the game is being turned into a film, but one that’s set in the real world, and based on the true story of Jann Mardenborough, a teenage Gran Turismo player whose gaming skills won a series of contests that helped turn him into a professional race-car driver.

How Rocky and Top Gun influenced Gran Turismo movie

Speaking to Empire about the movie, co-screenwriter Zach Baylin name-checked two movie classics. Baylin explains: “We talked about how this story could have elements of Rocky, in being about a character on the outside of an industry, who has a real desire to not just get into a particular sport, but to prove something to himself and his family.

“We [spoke] a lot about the original Top Gun and that idea of a character surrounded by the best of the best, coming in to learn what it means to sit in these extremely fast vehicles. What it means to have to be part of a team. What it means to have to overcome your own insecurities and ego in order to pilot something that can kill you and kill other people.”

Why Gran Tursimo is a superhero story

In the same interview, actor Archie Madekwe – who plays Jann Mardenborough – compares Gran Turismo to a comic book movie, stating: “It’s the story of essentially a real-world superhero.

“Two years ago, this was not me. Racing was not my world. I didn’t care about cars. But that’s the thing about Jann – you don’t have to be a petrolhead to be inspired about what he achieved.” 

Madekwe is joined by the likes of David Harbour, Orlando Bloom, Geri Halliwell Horner, and Djimon Hounsou in the cast, with District 9 director Neill Blomkamp helming.

Gran Turismo races into UK and US cinemas on August 11, 2023. Find out more about the movie here.

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