Michael Keaton, fresh off his best actor Golden Globe win for his work in Birdman, is in talks to star in The Founder, the dark story of the rise of the McDonald’s fast food empire.
John Lee Hancock is on board to direct the drama, which is being produced by FilmNation and The Combine, the shingle run by Jeremy Renner and Don Handfield.
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Written by Robert Siegel (Big Fan), The Founder is a drama that tells the true story of how Ray Kroc, a salesman from Illinois, met Mac and Dick McDonald, who were running a burger operation in 1950s Southern California. Kroc was impressed by the brothers’ speedy system of making the food and saw franchise potential. He maneuvered himself into a position to be able to pull the company from the brothers and create a billion-dollar empire.
The tone of the script has been described as being akin to The Social Network and There Will Be Blood.
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Sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that Keaton met with Hancock on Monday, received an offer this week and is in talks to take on the role of Kroc.
The actor is enjoying a career resurgence, thanks to his intense performance in Birdman, and has received SAG Award and BAFTA Award nominations for his work. (Oscar nominations are unveiled tomorrow.) The actor is even back in the tentpole game and is in talks to join Legendary and Universal’s Skull Island.
He is repped by ICM Partners and Anonymous Content.