There are two things Playstation’s ‘Gran Turismo’ series of video games are really good at: faithfully recreating the experience of getting to drive high-end automobiles for car enthusiasts and boring the pants off any anybody else who happens to get caught in the same room while said enthusiast is playing. Because of this, The Wrap’s report that Sony is now looking to turn Gran Turismo into a feature film could be seen as a scary proposition for anyone other than the biggest car nuts out there.
This begs the question, why turn a video game that’s a pretty dry recreation of the racing experience into a film in the first place? In this situation, it seems to be a case of monkey see, monkey do. Universal, of course, is currently enjoying the heaps of profits being generated by their impossibly long-lasting and vital Fast and Furious franchise, and now Dreamworks seems to be making a play for the cars-moving-fast-genre money by putting together an enticing-sounding project that utilizes the Need For Speed name and the star power of Breaking Bad actor Aaron Paul. Heck, there have even been rumblings that Legendary is looking for directors to put on a possible Hot Wheels movie. Why wouldn’t Sony, who owns the most popular racing game franchise on the planet, try to use it to cash in on some box office dollars?
Well, the idealistic argument could be made that movies should be developed based on story ideas and not on corporate synergy or analyses of what’s making money for other people in the current market. While The Wrap’s report says that Fifty Shades of Grey producers Mike De Luca and Dana Brunetti will be in charge of putting the Gran Turismo package together, there isn’t yet any early word on a writer chomping at the bit to write the screenplay or a director who’s enthusiastic about framing the action.
Is it possible that De Luca and Brunetti could find the right writer who comes up with the right angle to put cars driving on a track within the framework of an interesting story? Sure. And is it possible they could find a director excited about making all of the exotic locals of the Gran Turismo race tracks look as beautiful as possible and the racing sequences come off as kinetic and exciting as possible? Of course. And, at this point, it seems like that’s what we should be hoping for. Heck, Days of Thunder ended up being pretty decent, didn’t it?