Gran Turismo Movie's Big Deleted Scene Revealed by Editor (Exclusive)

By Russ Milheim Updated:
Gran Turismo, PlayStation, Archie Madekwe, David Harbour, Orlando Bloom

The editor for the Gran Turismo movie revealed the biggest scene left on the cutting room floor.

While The Last of Us did well for Sony earlier this year, the famous racing franchise is the studios’ next pick for a video game adaptation. The movie, which is already released in some areas of the world, follows the true story of pro racer Jann Mardenborough.

Mardenborough, who had only exclusively played the PlayStation video game, was selected to compete in GT Academy, a marketing stunt designed to turn a gamer into a real race car driver.

It managed to achieve just that, with Mardenborough now touting 12 years of professional racing experience.

Gran Turismo Deleted Scene Revealed

Jann Mardenborough, Archie Madekwe, Gran Turismo
Sony Pictures

While exclusively speaking with The Direct’s Russ Milheim, Gran Turismo editor Colby Parker Jr. revealed one of the biggest deleted scenes of the film.

Parker shared how there was a sequence where “Jann goes back home,” a scene that was “the only really big one” not in the final movie:

 “There's a scene where Jann goes back home, after he won the Gran Turismo Academy contest and sort of celebrates with his family, but he's acting a little too big for his britches. And [laughs] he has to be grounded by his family a bit. That was sort of the only really big one.”

Gerri Halliwell, Archie Madekwe, Djimon Hounsou, Gran Turismo
Sony Pictures

He clarified that plenty of scenes were “cut short and really shaved down,” including “more of him working in the department store” and “more humor with Persol:”

“… [A lot] of scenes were cut short and really shaved down. Like, there was a lot more of him working in the department store and some funny beats about sort of his everyday life at the department store. There was a lot more humor with Persol and him just being kids, but you know, they just didn't advance the plot. They're really funny, though. I think we did lose some humor. But it was either that we lose humor or we lose emotions with the family, and so a lot of those humorous beats were lifted in favor of more emotional beats.”

Parker then added that the leftover “race footage” they have “could [make] another five films:”

“… There's so much race footage. We could do another five films. We could have added about four more races. You saw, there's a montage in the middle. From day one, I was like, alright, well, we have to montage these up because this is just too much racing.”

Speaking of those races, which are understandably a key element of a Gran Turismo movie, the creative team treated each major event differently.

Director Neill Blomkamp mandated that some avoid “[using] any of the drone shots” while others couldn’t use “ground cam shots:”

“… Each race was its own beast… Neill had made some rules. He's like, 'For the GT Academy race, I don't want to use any of the drone shots', and then… for the Le Mans, we could use everything. But for the Red Bull race, we don't use any of these sort of ground cam shots that were mounted to the car. So, we kind of had certain rules like that, that we stuck to make each race feel like its own animal.”

With the film being based on true events, at some point or another, there will be some differences between what’s on screen and what happened in reality.

One of the biggest changes was the placement of Jann Mardenborough's crash at Nurburgring in 2015, which killed a spectator. In the movie, the event happened early in his career and proved to be a turning point in his Gran Turismo story heading into a key event at Le Mans.

Gran Turismo car
Sony Pictures

In real life, however, his participation in the Le Mans race actually occurred two years before his fatal incident on the tracks.

On re-ordering the events of the real-life story, Gran Turismo editor Colby Parker Jr. admitted that when adapting true stories into movies, sometimes you have to take liberties, and, provided “the facts are in there,” he doesn’t “feel like it’s hurting anyone:”

“… I think, motivation-wise for the character and our character's arcs, it works better that way. I think, as long as the events happen, and it's in there, it's pretty much true to the story. And the facts are in there. They're just happening in a different stage, but it doesn't feel like it's hurting anyone or that it's a big lie.”

While racing is integral to Gran Turismo’s story, it is the heart and emotion that really elevates the material to another level.

Parker admitted that one of the biggest lessons he learned was “you can never have too much emotion:”

“… You can never have too much emotion. I'm a pretty cynical person, and I'm missing that emotional gene, and I feel that Neill [Blomkamp] was always pushing for more emotional stuff. And I was like, 'Alright, this is gonna be a little bit too sappy,' and I was always wrong. You know? I was like, 'Actually, I love this beat, I love this father-son beat here is great' ... I feel like you can never have too much family or emotional beats. People just eat that up, and it's super relatable. And people like to see things that they've experienced or they can relate to.”

The editor candidly agreed that editing a movie like Gran Turismo is “super chaotic:”

“… It's super chaotic. But you kind of have to compartmentalize everything. So we're always editing while they shoot. So we kind of were doing scene by scene. And then when they're done shooting, we get a week to present our editor's cut to the director because they're so busy shooting.”

In Parker’s case, he usually has one shorter and more concise edit that he presents and another longer cut to go back and pull from when making adjustments.

It’s these adjustments that really “start to tighten it up… and it starts to feel like a real movie:”

“I start cherry-picking from that [longer] cut, or I just start conflating scenes and making everything sort of fit into tighter scenes. I'm like, 'alright, well, I don't need this part.' You start sacrificing the entrances and exits of scenes. And you're like... we could just start the scene here with him saying this, and now I can pre-lap it over that scene. And that's kind of where it gets fun, and you get the start to tighten it up and start to shape, and it starts to feel like a real movie.”

A movie like this is also comprised of lots of quick cuts and fast-paced editing.

Parker’s goal while piecing together the edit is for “it to make sense” and keep audiences from “[seeing] a flurry of shots” and getting “desensitized:”

“...I just want it to make sense, as you know, when I watch something that has a hyper edit and all that. I feel like there's a scam going on or some subterfuge, so I want to be clear... I kinda want to be on the driver. And then I want to go from that driver to his exterior or the exterior to our driver to let the audience know. And I just want the people to be grounded. I want things to land as opposed to a flurry of shots, and then you get desensitized…”

At the end of the day, the editor made it clear that "every frame matters," and "if things aren't advancing the plot," then it had to go:

“...I remember talking to Neill [Blomkamp], because I had done 'Friday Night Lights.' And after our first few cuts we were like, 'Wow, so the football is the most boring stuff in this film.' And I think it's the same with any of these sports movies. Every frame matters, every second matters. If things aren't advancing the plot, it's got to go, and so only things that were servicing the story really stay... everything is sort of stripped down the bare bones…”

For Gran Turismo, which is filled to the brim with countless car races, Parker shared that “the main idea is just to feel something for the character and then build drama through the races:”

“Even in the races, there are certain beats or we actually see our driver getting better, or we see how he's being affected by being an amateur and how the pros are manipulating him… We just try and strip all the races down to bare bones... It's a movie, anybody could go and watch F1 on ESPN or something. So the main idea is just to feel something for the character and then build drama through the races. So you want to see him win, lose, or get revenge on [Nicholas] Capa, who's sort of the antagonist in this film.”

Why Didn't the Mardenborough Family Scene Make the Cut?

Interestingly enough, a big scene between Jann Mardenborough and his family doesn't sound like it would be something the creatives would want to let go of.

With director Neill Blomkamp consistently pushing for more emotion, one would have guessed the deleted scene would fit that bill. Hopefully, fans will be able to get a glimpse of it in the special features when the film is released physically.

As for all the extra race footage the team had, that’s not surprising. One would imagine most sports movies have plenty of extra footage in a similar vein.

One of the strongest aspects of Gran Turismo is its pacing, so audiences would probably end up agreeing that they made the right choices by cutting what they did. Nevertheless, it’s always interesting to learn what could have been.

Gran Turismo hits theaters on Friday, August 25.

- In This Article: Gran Turismo
Release Date
August 25, 2023
Archie Madekwe
Orlando Bloom
- About The Author: Russ Milheim
Russ Milheim is the Industry Relations Coordinator at The Direct. On top of utilizing his expertise on the many corners of today’s entertainment to cover the latest news and theories, he establishes and maintains communication and relations between the outlet and the many studio and talent representatives.