Driver played by Orlando Bloom in Gran Turismo movie takes us behind the scenes

From Orlando Bloom's casting to a juicy cameo of the creator of Gran Turismo himself.

by | Published on 25th Aug 2023

The long-awaited Gran Turismo movie is finally hitting theaters in the US.

It stars Stranger Things icon David Harbour, Archie Madekwe as the main character and Orlando Bloom as Darren Cox.

We’ve had a chat with Darren Cox, and he’s given us an exclusive behind-the-scenes glimpse into what actually happened.

READ MORE: Hollywood is making a ‘Gran Turismo’ movie – and it’s got a legit plotline

The movie is based on the true story of Jann Mardenborough, the youngest winner of the GT Academy.

Launched in 2008, the GT Academy gave skilled Gran Turismo gamers the chance to earn a real-life career as a racing driver.

Speaking to, Cox recalls the exact moment a life-changing lightbulb switched on in his brain.

“[We were] at Bedford Autodrome. I compared lap times and realized the fastest players in the game also happened to be the fastest drivers on the track,” he said.

It was at that moment that Cox realized he was on to something, and began pitching the GT Academy idea to Nissan.

Mind you, getting the Japanese automaker’s top brass to sign off on the project wasn’t as easy as it looked in the movie.

“It took three minutes in the movie, but in reality it took me three years to convince them,” Cox told

Cox also joked about some of the aspects of the story that were glamorized in the movie.

“The way Orlando Bloom plays my character is a lot more corporate,” Cox said.

“[But] I don’t remember having a corporate jet. We were more EasyJet than corporate jet.”

The movie combines characters based on real people and totally fictional characters.

One of the characters that is definitely real is Kazunori ‘Kaz’ Yamauchi, the creator of the Gran Turismo video game, who’s played by Japanese actor Takehiro Hira.

Hardcore fans will be happy to learn the movie includes a juicy cameo of the real ‘Kaz’ as a sushi chef.

Left, Bloom and Madekwe – Right, Kazunori’s cameo

Despite the movie being co-produced by Sony, Cox said Kazunori wasn’t really hands on.

“Once the Hollywood train leaves the Hollywood station, it’s down to the executive producer and the director,” he said.

Still, aside from the glamorization of his character and the ‘Hollywoodization’ of certain elements of the story, Cox said the movie is pretty accurate.

He’s especially thrilled with the casting of Orlando Bloom as Danny Moore, a fictional character based on Cox himself.

“I told my wife and she said there’s no way an actor like that is going to play you,” he said.

“But it happened. It’s surreal.”

Filmed on a budget of $60 million, the movie is now finally available globally after the Hollywood strike delayed its release in the US.



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Experienced content creator with a strong focus on cars and watches. Alessandro penned the first-ever post on the Supercar Blondie website and covers cars, watches, yachts, real estate and crypto. Former DriveTribe writer, fixed gear bike owner, obsessed with ducks for some reason.

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