Michael Keaton Has a ‘Need for Speed’

As Dom Toretto and Brian O’Conner rev their engines for Universal’s Fast & Furious 6, DreamWorks is preparing a high-speed franchise of its own. Last spring, the studio nabbed the rights to the EA Sports racing video game Need for Speed and set Scott Waugh (Act of Valor) to direct. Casting got off to a strong start last fall as Aaron Paul and Dominic Cooper joined the cast, picking up Imogen Poots and Kid Cudi along the way. Now it’s bringing on some more grown-up talent, in the form of Michael Keaton. More details after the jump.

The script by John Gatins (Flight) centers around an local street racer (Paul) who runs a business modifying vehicles for racing. He’s sent to prison for a crime he didn’t commit, and emerges determined to take revenge on the former colleague (Cooper) who framed him. For some reason, that involves joining a cross-country race. But his enemy gets wind of the plan and puts a massive bounty on his head, sending all manner of illegal supercharged vehicles after him.

Keaton will play the mysterious host of the race, which features “the best drivers from around the world.” As previously reported, Poots will portray an exotic car dealer and Cudi a member of Paul’s crew. Ramon Rodriguez (Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen), Rami Malek (The Master), and Harrison Gilbertson round out the rest of the cast.

While Keaton has worked steadily for decades, he hasn’t appeared in a live-action feature since 2010′s The Other Guys. Happily, that’s about to change. Keaton will be seen later this year (probably) in the thriller Penthouse North, and he recently wrapped a role as the villain of Jose Padilha’s Robocop. In addition, he has a role in Greg Mottola’s HBO movie Clear History, opposite Larry David and Jon Hamm. Need for Speed is scheduled for release on February 7, 2014.

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