Is Gran Turismo based on a true story? Explained

The Gran Tursimo Movie (Image via Sony Pictures UK)
The Gran Tursimo Movie (Image via Sony Pictures UK)

Gran Turismo, set to be released on August 25, 2023, is based on an inspiring true story that is popular with players and auto enthusiasts. Based on the real-life experiences of gamer Jann Mardenborough, the film delivers top-notch racing simulations with lifelike visuals and a broad selection of vehicles. Its authenticity, though, continues to be a major concern.

The plot revolves around Mardenborough's transformation from player to competitive race car driver, fusing online gaming with actual racing ambitions. For the sake of cinematic impact, several elements in the film have been dramatized and fictionalized. However, the question is still whether it is totally based on real-life events or not.

Disclaimer: This article contains major spoilers from The Gran Turismo movie.

Things that Gran Turismo got right

The Gran Turismo movie (Image via Sportskeeda)
The Gran Turismo movie (Image via Sportskeeda)

The film perfectly depicts the all-encompassing attraction of video games as a medium for developing talents, igniting enthusiasm, and opening up doors to new territory. Mardenborough's humble beginnings as a virtual racer serve as an inspirational starting point for his quest, illustrating the ability of regular people with incredible devotion to overcome boundaries, defy norms, and rewrite their futures.

Jann Mardenborough's origin

The movie follows a dedicated Gran Turismo player named Jann Mardenborough as he competes in lower-level virtual racing leagues and purchases premium gaming accessories. The narrative emphasizes how a person may become a professional racing car driver through desire and perseverance.

Mardenborough's dedication to developing his virtual driving skills leads him to a fantastic opportunity in the real racing world.

The GT Academy: A Game Changer

The GT Academy, a ground-breaking idea that revolutionized the virtual gaming and real-world racing industries, is the center of this movie. The GT Academy was established in 2008 to bridge the gap between online racing and on-track competition by enabling exceptional Gran Turismo players to switch from virtual racetracks to actual racecars.

The film vividly depicts the daring of this idea and how it may alter the conventional course of professional racing. The core of this innovation is embodied by Jann Mardenborough's progression through the GT Academy, which sees him go from a virtual racer to a real-world competitor.

Characters and Their Inspiration

Characters like Jack Salter, Danny Moore, and Jann Mardenborough are modeled after real-life individuals. Gavin Gough serves as an inspiration for Salter, a failed racer, while Darren Cox, the creator of the GT Academy, is represented by Moore.

The partnership between Nissan and PlayStation reflects Moore's position as a Nissan marketing executive. The movie emphasizes how human relationships spur invention and the blending of fantasy and reality, producing astonishing results.

Where the movie took some creative decisions that differed from the reality

Gran Turismo Movie (Image via Sony Pictures)
Gran Turismo Movie (Image via Sony Pictures)

Gran Turismo is accused of using Jann Mardenborough's collision at the Nürburgring as a crucial turning point, while Mardenborough defends the inclusion. The depiction of Jack Salter by David Harbour departs from historical reality, and the 2015 temporal shift is debatable. Despite these concerns, the film captures Mardenborough's plot and moral implications while honoring actual facts and maintaining an engaging storyline.

Concluding Thoughts


This film explores how video games impact lives and help people achieve their goals by tracing Jann Mardenborough's development from a game enthusiast to a professional racer.

The movie demonstrates the possibility for virtual interests to result in real-world accomplishments by drawing on Mardenborough's genuine narrative. The lines between virtual and real encounters blur as gameplay progresses, emphasizing how fluid gaming experiences are outside of a screen.

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Edited by Divya Singh