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A biopic about the founder of one of the most popular companies the world has ever seen seems like such a no-brainer, it’s amazing that nobody has thought of it before now. Our first image of Michael Keaton as McDonald’s founder Ray Kroc is on the first official poster for The Founder, and while the poster doesn’t say a lot, it says pretty much everything that you need it to.
We don’t really see Michael Keaton here, but to be honest you don’t need to. Most of us couldn’t pick Ray Kroc, the man responsible for turning McDonald’s into a global phenomenon, out of a police lineup. The thing that’s iconic about the name McDonald’s are the famous golden arches, and the poster has them, so you know exactly what this movie is really about, even if the founder's name means nothing to you. It also gives you a somewhat ominous tagline, that likely tells many people something they didn’t know.
While Ray Kroc is credited as the founder of McDonald’s franchise operation, the name came from two brothers, Mac and Dick McDonald, who ran a small southern California hamburger stand. Kroc saw the potential and eventually turned the company into the global fast food chain that it is today. The movie certainly has the potential to paint the famous founder in a negative light, though it’s really too early to tell. The McDonald’s organization, for their part, seemed to at least tacitly support the project, at least they did a year ago. This implies that the movie may treat the company at least somewhat better than Super Size Me.
Michael Keaton has been riding high in Hollywood recently, having led the casts of the last two Oscar winners for Best Picture. While it’s a little early for Oscar buzz, the Academy tends to love biopics and so it will be interesting to see if The Founder could be another critical success for Keaton. The film’s original release date of November implied that the Weinstein Company felt the same way. However, now the film has been pushed up to an August 5 release. It doesn’t mean the movie might not still be a contender. It could mean that the studio sees the film as a potential crowd pleaser as well as an award winner. Adding to the film’s high caliber pedigree are Robert Siegel, the man behind The Wrestler, as the screenwriter, and John Lee Hancock (The Blind Side) as the director.
We’re certainly intrigued to see if Hollywood can turn a hamburger stand into exciting drama, but if anybody can get us invested in that it might be Michael Keaton. We’ll be looking forward to the first trailer for The Founder ahead of its release this summer.