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While Michael Keaton's stock in Hollywood is still riding its post-Birdman resurgence, it looks as though the actor has taken on what could technically be considered a "McJob." The former Batman star has signed on to a film called The Founder, which will chronicle the early rising of the McDonald’s corporation. Keaton will be playing the role of key franchise builder, Ray Kroc.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the film will follow what will be a "dark story of the rise of the McDonald’s fast food empire." Additionally, the tone of the script will reportedly resemble something close to David FIncher's The Social Network and Paul Thomas Anderson's There Will Be Blood. Therefore, we shouldn’t necessarily expect this to be a heartstring-pulling yarn about a few wide-smiling idealistic men grabbing the American dream while fries, shakes, and Happy Meal toys fall from the sky. (Although that premise almost sounds more intriguing.)
The biographical setup should be true to life, in that it will focus on how Kroc, a Illinois businessman, would fatefully meet Mac and Dick McDonald. The brothers' Southern California burger joint began implementing innovative new industrial-inspired mass production techniques, which increased efficiency and created a concept that we all now take for granted called "fast food." With Kroc’s business savvy and the McDonald brothers’ branding, the rest would become history, as the McDonald’s chain become the template for a billion dollar industry and the world’s largest chain with locations in 119 countries.
Taking the director’s chair for The Founder will be John Lee Hancock (The Blind Side, Saving Mr. Banks), and the the script is being penned by Robert Siegel (The Wrestler, Turbo). While the few details we do know about the film suggest that it will not exactly show McDonald’s (a favorite target amongst the anti-corporate) in the most favorable light, it’s probably too early to tell if it will be an outright anti-McDonald’s film that tells us McRib-eating schlubs to get down to Whole Foods and grab a handful of kale. The negativity of the company's monolithic transformation might simply be the backdrop for a more nuanced character study of Ray Kroc. So, I'm going ahead and continue eating some not-at-all-creepy McNugget Babies with complete impunity.
For Keaton, The Founder represents yet another high profile notch on his upcoming film queue. The actor already has roles in this year’s drama about the Catholic Church scandals, Spotlight alongside Mark Ruffalo (or, as I tend to see it, Batman and Hulk are teaming up) and he's also attached to the 2017 King Kong film Kong: Skull Island with Tom Hiddleston (or, as I tend to see it, Batman throws down with Loki.)