DreamWorks has acquired feature film rights to Need for Speed, the Electronic Arts car-racing video game franchise.
Scott Waugh (Act of Valor) is attached to direct the project, which hopes to go from zero to 60, with production starting next year in order to make a 2014 release date. George Gatins and his brother John Gatins are developing an original story, and George Gatins will write the screenplay, which will be based on the entire series rather than one of the individual games. EA will produce along with John Gatins and Mark Sourian.
George Gatins was an executive producer on DreamWorks’ 2010 film She’s Out of My League. John Gatins’ previous projects with DreamWorks include the 2005 film Dreamer, which he wrote and directed. He also wrote the script for last year’s Real Steel and has been working on the script for its sequel. He recently wrote the script for Flight, which will be released by Paramount later this year.
Need for Speed is one of EA’s biggest video game franchises, having sold more than 140 million units worldwide and generated an estimated $4 billion in retail revenue. THR first reported that the studio was in talks to pick up the property June 16.
“I’m excited about getting back into the creative trenches with John and George Gatins and my partners at EA to bring to life an exhilarating script based on an epic video game that seems to have been made for the movies,” said DreamWorks chairman Steven Spielberg, who developed games with EA in the mid-2000s.
“We are thrilled to be in business with our friends Steven Spielberg, [DreamWorks CEO and co-chair] Stacey Snider and the entire DreamWorks team,” said Frank Gibeau, president of EA Labels, who announced the project along with Snider on Friday.
Both EA and the Gatins brothers are repped by UTA, which negotiated the deal.