Daily Reaction: Spinning in Place, the Story of Gran Turismo the Movie

Movies that are based on video game IPs have usually not fared too well in the past, but a recent title just confirmed to be in development has raised more than a few eyebrows. One of the biggest racing franchises in gaming history, Gran Turismo, has been picked up for development and the Daily Reaction crew of Seb and Dan put together a few ideas on how this story-lacking title can be turned into a movie.

Dan: When I first heard the report that Sony had confirmed that Gran Turismo is ‘being made’ into a movie, I thought, how can they even make that into a movie? But, the more I thought about it, I realized that, yes, it will probably be terrible but at least it could be done.

Gran Turismo is not known for its story or characters, as there really aren’t any in the game. So, it raises the big question: How do you make a feature film about a game with no story? Well if you look at the way GT is meant to be played, you already have the story and the main character.

By playing through the game, the story that unfolds is simply your progression from beginning with a used ‘hoopty’ to driving around in a million dollar supercar and that is the concept behind how I would structure the film.

Starting off as a kid, the movie would be the protagonist’s progression to the big time like every other racing movie, but would focus more on the types of cars and tracks. The evolution of the character would be crutched on an aspect that most of us should be able to relate to, that moment as a child when saw your dream car and wanted nothing more than to drive it as fast as you could. That simple, but childish dream would be a great reflection to the way we approach driving games in general, as we are always striving for that fastest and most difficult to get vehicle.

This is where I think the movie could shine the best, by having some of the most amazing supercars driving around a track, rally cars sliding across the dirt and a few Formula One cars hitting blistering speeds, we would have a mixture of styles for all fans, while keeping things from falling into a stagnant state.

The most important thing for me would be to move away from having standard racing movie tropes like ‘being too injured to drive, but he’s going to do it anyway and win’. I would like to see some competition between him and only one other racer, but it would need to be a strong bond where it comes down to simple competition without the need for foul play. Oddly enough, I think that it would be an interesting concept to have the protagonist die because of something the antagonist did and the movie would have to continue on from his point of view.

Much like what we saw in Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of the Liberty, the idea of some sleight of hand for the audience could remind them that no one is invincible and that sometimes it is better to go out doing something you love.

Seb: Ok, so Dan took the obvious idea – a movie about someone racing someone else. That’s it, that’s what the movie will be. That’s the only logical, and lame, outcome. I guess I’ll have to come up with something different…

It stars an old man who has an unhealthy obsession for his car, with the film having a dreadfully slow pace that involves a gun never being used and a lame attempt at social commentary. Wait, no, that’s Gran Torino. Hmm, how about a movie starring Paul Walker behind the wheel? Ooo, or Ryan Gosling, he’s never done a character like that…

Fine, I’m starting to get looks from Dan, so let’s get back on track (teehee). The Fifty Shades of Grey producers are gearing up to work on this flick, so the tone they’re going for is probably going to be car porn. ‘Oh baby, look at those rims’, or whatever it is these automobileerotique asphyxiation people are into.

That’s easy, just bring out a bunch of cars and have them do all the things cars do, like driving and not driving. They could even have it so that the main car is magic and can’t really take much damage, to mirror the games. But that’s boring.

Here’s my pitch: The car is the star. Here’s the problem with Hollywood takes on games – they strip away what makes a game a game, ultimately ending up with something that’s like every other movie out there. They need to retain some essence of the game’s uniqueness, even if it is a movie.

The film starts off with you being introduced to the (human) protagonist, where you find out he’s a famous racing driver, winning championships and trophies left and right. Everything is going perfectly for him, the generic movie beginning has begun – and then, bam, he’s hit by a car.  As he lies there on the street, his life ebbing away, the car stops and a man gets out, stares and gets back in his car. This guy’s the villain, let’s call him Dan.

Next, we see the protagonist in a hospital bed, bandaged and plastercasted all over. The TV is on, Dan is winning races, taking titles the protagonist used to have. He tries to scream, but he can’t. After a brief struggle, his body gives up on him, and he dies.

We then see the inside of a garage, and we begin to realize the view is from that of the car. It’s sentient, it’s him. He then has to try to defeat Dan, and overcome his own urges to run the guy over, in a struggle for both his titles and his own soul. All rendered on the PS4.

It will be a terrible, terrible movie, with an awful script that was made up in minutes out of a desperate need to be different to another guy’s rubbishy script, but at least it will be better than what will actually be created.

What do you think should happen in the Gran Turismo movie? Should the protagonist die? Or should the game never have been picked up in the first place? Let us know in the comments below, email us at [email protected] or tweet us your movie pitches at Seb and Dan.