Is Gran Turismo Based on a True Story?

Sandra Boudreaux

Gran Turismo

The Gran Turismo film is a unique video game adaptation centres around Gran Turismo user Jann Mardenborough, whose skills in the racing game win him a series of Nissan-sponsored video game competitions that give him the chance to sit behind the wheel of a real race vehicle and put his skills to the test on an actual racetrack. Gran Turismo is directed by Neill Blomkamp, best known for his work in the science fiction films District 9, Elysium, and Chappie, and written by Jason Hall of American Sniper and Zach Baylin of King Richard.

Gran Turismo, like the Uncharted film starring Tom Holland and the HBO TV series adaptation of The Last of Us starring Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey, is part of a determined attempt by PlayStation Productions to convert its most popular gaming titles into live-action films. So, who is Jann Mardenborough, and how did he come up as the inspiration for the Gran Turismo film?

Is Gran Turismo Based on a True Story?

Yes. Gran Turismo is a biographical film based on Jann Mardenborough’s genuine tale as a young Gran Turismo gamer who went on to become a professional racing car driver.

The film is based on the game and has imagery from the simulation, as well as serving as a biopic about Mardenborough’s journey to racing success.

Jann Mardenborough competed in a GT Academy competition when he was 19 years old in 2011. He was the third and youngest winner of the tournament, which Nissan created to allow Gran Turismo gamers to experience a genuine professional racing career.

Gran Turismo

Darren Cox created the GT Academy competition as a collaboration between Sony and Nissan. (This character is called ‘Danny Moore’ in the film and is played by Orlando Bloom.). Mardenborough won the competition over 90,000 other competitors, and his prize was the opportunity to drive in the Dubai 24-hour endurance race. He’s since competed in a number of high-stakes races and established a renowned racing career.

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One of the more amazing sections of the Gran Turismo film is also true: the deadly Nürburgring wreck. Mardenborough lost control of his automobile while driving the course in 2015 when it flew airborne and smashed into the surrounding fencing. It collided with one of the bystanders, killing him terribly. Several other spectators, including Mardenborough, were also taken to the hospital.

Mardenborough insisted on including the crash in the narrative, claiming that it was a part of his experience and should be recounted.

Who Is Jann Mardenborough?

Jann Mardenborough (Archie Madekwe) is a Gran Turismo player whose skills in the game earned him the opportunity to drive and race in real life. He went on to win various awards and competitions before becoming a professional racer.

Jann excelled in GT5 on the PlayStation 3 and was accepted into Nissan’s PlayStation GT Academy. Nissan and Sony Interactive Entertainment supported GT Academy, which aimed to get the game’s finest players onto real-world tracks. The best players were admitted into the Academy after a series of gaming events and given the opportunity to drive real vehicles and earn a seat on Nissan’s team. Jann excelled at the Academy and was invited to join the team.

Jann Mardenborough

Jann told The Guardian, ‘I’ve always had a fascination for Gran Turismo and getting to drive automobiles I’d probably never, ever get to drive…’ In a way, I’m living out a boyhood fantasy, therefore it’s incredibly satisfying that gaming has enabled me to do so.’

He got so captivated with the sport that he turned it into a career, primarily in Formula One racing. He finished 10th in the Toyota Racing Series in New Zealand at the age of 21. He then finished third in the 24 Hours of Le Mans that year, and he continued to do well in consecutive races and series. He was skilled at what he did, whether behind the wheel or on the controls.

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Jann’s career took an awful turn in 2015 when his vehicle careened off the track, killing one spectator and injuring several more. Jann suffered no significant injuries.

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