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Director John Lee Hancock has created an interesting niche for himself in Hollywood, regularly finding projects that bring true stories to life. In recent years he has done so with films like The Blind Side and Saving Mr. Banks, but now he's preparing to tell the origin story of the biggest fast food chain in the world.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Hancock is now attached to direct a film titled The Founder, which will tell the story of how the restaurant chain McDonald's wound up being created. Robert Siegel, who previously earned acclaim for writing the script for Darren Aronofsky's The Wrestler and for his directorial debut Big Fan, is penning the script, and Jeremy Renner's production company, The Combine, is working along with FilmNation to produce the feature.
The story will center on Illinois-born businessman Ray Kroc, who moved to Southern California in the 1950s and became acquainted with two brothers named Mac and Dick McDonald, who at the time were running a small little burger restaurant. As the story goes, Kroc was impressed with the quick and streamlined operation, and saw franchise potential in it, eventually leading to the creation of the McDonalds corporation that we know today. The film is expected to be a very serious drama, as the trade report cites David Fincher's The Social Network and Paul Thomas Anderson's There Will Be Blood as being projects with similar tones.
There are really two basic ways that this project could go, and while one could be compelling, the other could be disastrous. In a perfect world, this movie will be an honest look behind the scenes of a very powerful corporation that tells the truth about everything, warts on all. The worst possible outcome is that this movie winds up being little more than a fluff piece that on a basic level operates as a 120-minute commercial for McDonald's. I really want to believe that it will be the former, but I have some very big fears of the latter.
To this project's credit, I didn't really understand the value of a movie about the origins of Facebook either when that project was first announced, and The Social Network wound up becoming my favorite film of 2010. Do you think this story has the potential to really create some serious, compelling drama? Do you have the same fears that I do about the possibility of the project just being an extended advertisement? Let us hear your thoughts in the comments section below.