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David Harbour to Star in ‘Gran Turismo’ Movie Based on PlayStation Racing Franchise

Neill Blomkamp is directing the racing film for Sony

“Stranger Things” actor David Harbour is off to the races and will star in Sony and PlayStation’s adaptation of the car racing franchise “Gran Turismo,” an individual with knowledge of the project told TheWrap.

Neill Blomkamp (“District 9”) is directing the video game adaptation based on a screenplay written by Jason Hall and Zach Baylan.

“Gran Turismo” is actually not a direct adaptation of the game but a true story about a teenage Gran Turismo player whose gaming skills won a series of Nissan competitions to become an actual professional race car driver. Harbour will play a retired driver who teaches the teen to drive.

Sony is releasing the movie on Aug. 11, 2023.

PlayStation Production’s Asad Qizilbash and Carter Swan, Doug Belgrad, and Dana Brunetti are producing. Game creator Kazunori Yamauchi and Hall are executive producing.

“As one of PlayStation’s longest standing and most beloved franchises, it’s great to be partnering with Columbia Pictures again to bring Gran Turismo to life in an exciting way. We can’t wait for audiences to see Neill’s vision of this inspiring true story of gamer turned professional race car driver,” Qizilbash said.

Sony and PlayStation are working on several other films and series inspired by their video game franchises, including projects based on “Ghosts of Tsushima,” “Horizon Zero Dawn” and “God of War” that are all in early, early stages of development. And the studio had some success early this year with the release of “Uncharted.”

The “Gran Turismo” franchise is a hyper-realistic simulation of automotive racing, and the video games all feature real-world vehicles and are designed to meticulously emulate the appearance and performance of the actual cars. The franchise dates all the way back to the original PlayStation 1 with the first release arriving in 1997, and it has continued with releases to this day on the PlayStation 5, with “GT 7” releasing in March and has over time become the highest selling PlayStation franchise, selling 85 million units worldwide.

The games have also become popular on the esports circuit and have spawned events and the GT Academy to help develop drivers and players around the world.

In addition to the fifth season of “Stranger Things,” David Harbour can be seen in Steven Soderbergh’s “No Sudden Move” and Marvel’s “Black Widow.” Up next is the Universal action movie and holiday film “Violent Night,” and he will reprise his “Black Widow” role in Marvel’s recently announced “Thunderbolts.” He’ll also star in and executive produce HBO’s “My Dentist’s Murder Trial.”

Harbour is represented by WME, Relevant PR and Sloane, Offer, Weber & Dern.

THR first reported the news.