For the third year on the trot, Michael Keaton will find his name attached to a potential awards vehicle with The Founder, John Lee Hancock’s biopic that chronicles the meteoric rise of McDonald’s and, ultimately, the fast food industry as we know it today.
Set to open nationwide on January 20, The Weinstein Company today announced that The Founder will get a one-week awards qualifying run in Los Angeles over the coming weeks, and though he’s considered a left-field choice at the moment, the news ensures Keaton’s name will be in the mix when awards season kicks off in earnest.
As for Hancock’s true-life drama, The Founder centers on Ray Kroc, an Illinois salesman struggling to make ends meet in 1950s America. Upon crossing paths with impresarios Mac and Dick McDonald in southern California, Kroc senses potential in their humble burger shack, and would go on to steer the business into a billion-dollar empire. Robert Siegel (The Wrestler) is the brains behind the screenplay and here, TWC co-chairman Harvey Weinstein welcomes the release date change.
“This film has a unique relevance to our current times. You have a persistent and, at times, calculating entrepreneur representing both the best and worst of American businessmen and who ultimately created the fast food industry as we know it today. It’s up to audiences to determine if he’s a visionary, an opportunist or a crook and how that fits in our society. I think everyone is going to want to see this story and ultimately decide for themselves.”
Also starring Laura Dern as Ray Kroc’s wife Ethel Fleming, The Founder looks to be a sharp, entertaining account of one man’s relentless – and at times ruthless – drive to establish a fast food empire and, ultimately, chase the American Dream.
Expect The Founder to debut with a limited release on December 7, before expanding across theatres nationwide on January 20.