John Lee Hancock interview

The Founder doesn’t resemble the often feel-good stories of some of John Lee Hancock‘s previous films, such as Saving Mr. BanksThe Rookie, or The Blind Side. At the end of the day, this is a story of the good guys losing. Depending on who you ask, there’s little that’s inspiring about Ray Kroc’s (Michael Keaton) success story.

The Founder is a biopic that doesn’t champion, idolize, or demonize its subject; it’s a warts-and-all portrait of an unimaginative but ambitious (or greedy) man with a hunger for success. He achieved the American dream by destroying Dick (Nick Offerman) and Mac McDonald’s (John Carroll Lynch) dream. They’re the heroes of the story — always pure in their intentions — but they don’t come out on top.

In one thrilling sequence, Mac explains how McDonald’s got started over dinner. It’s a lengthy, dialogue-heavy scene that communicates history and backstory, helps strengthen Dick and Mac’s loving relationship, and moves along at such a fast pace. This scene, which was written by Robert D. Siegel (The Wrestler), is where we began our recent conversation with Hancock.

Below, check out our John Lee Hancock interview.

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Michael Keaton in The Founder trailer

Technically, The Founder has already hit in theaters, but with a limited run so small and so haphazard you likely didn’t even know it happened. Fortunately, it’s about to get a much wider release in the coming weeks. And this time, there’s a trailer and everything so you can get ready to dig in.

Directed by John Lee Hancock (Saving Mr. Banks) from a script by Robert Siegel (The Wrestler), The Founder chronicles the dizzying rise of Ray Kroc — a struggling salesman who transformed McDonald’s from a tiny burger operation in Southern California into the gazillion-dollar global empire that it is today. It will probably not surprise you to learn that he pissed a lot of people off and made a lot of enemies and maybe lost his soul along the way. Watch the latest The Founder trailer below.  Read More »

the founder trailer

Michael Keaton‘s Oscar chances just got ever-so-slightly better. The Weinstein Company has just announced that it will put The Founder into theaters starting today for an awards-qualifying release. Directed by John Lee Hancock, the biopic tells the story of Ray Kroc, the enterprising businessman who turned McDonald’s from a humble local operation into a global billion-dollar empire. Get details on The Founder awards qualifying run, and check out the new The Founder trailer, below. Read More »

the founder trailer

Originally, director John Lee Hancock‘s The Founder was scheduled to open in theaters this August. Only a few short weeks before its opening, The Weinstein Company has had a change of heart. Instead of playing as counterprogramming next month, the biopic about McDonald’s founder Ray Kroc (Michael Keaton) has been postponed to awards season. The film will now open in limited release on December 16th.

Below, learn more about The Founder release date.

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the founder trailer

Every successful business is a story. There are those hopeful and desperate beginnings, when someone puts their livelihood on the line to pursue a dream. There are those dramatic rises to power, where everything pays off and the money and accolades start to roll in. And, often enough, there are those dramatic third acts where all kinds of chickens come home to roost and the shape of that original dream has been distorted beyond measure.

The Founder tells the story of Ray Kroc, the struggling businessman who stumbled across a homegrown hamburger restaurant called McDonald’s, recognized its potential for greatness, and dragged it kicking and screaming into the future, where it set the template for how Americans would consume food for the rest of the century and beyond. Oh, and as the new trailer makes it clear, he was probably a bit of a dick.

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Michael Keaton in Talks for McDonald’s Origin Story

Birdman

Golden Globe winner and (as of this morning) Academy Award nominee Michael Keaton may have found his next big role. Keaton is looking to lead The Founder, a Social Network-esque drama about the rise of American fast food empire McDonald’s. John Lee Hancock (The Blind Side, Saving Mr. Banks) is directing.

More details on the Michael Keaton McDonalds movie casting after the jump. Read More »

McDonalds

Hollywood’s current craze for origin stories is so all-encompassing, it’s even sweeping up McDonald’s. John Lee Hancock is in talks to direct The Founder, a Social Network-like drama about the rise of the billion-dollar burger empire.

While the project is still in early stages, it’s already looking to cast big. Tom Hanks was previously approached to star, and Michael Keaton is reportedly interested. More details on the McDonalds movie after the jump. Read More »

Will Smith in I Am Legend

A pair of sports film just took significant jumps up the production ladder. First up, superstar Will Smith is in talks to star in a film about head injuries in the NFL produced by Ridley Scott. Peter Landesman (Parkland) is scheduled to direct.

Second, John Lee Hancock – director of the highest grossing sports film of all time, The Blind Side – will direct a film about the life of baseball superstar turned financial criminal, Lenny Dykstra. Read more about the Will Smith NFL movie and Dykstra project below. Read More »

LAT-director-roundtable

We’ve spoken often of how the best thing about awards season is that filmmakers are given the chance to talk at length about their films, and not merely on their own, but with each other. THR had a long set of video roundtables late last year featuring many people responsible for some of 2013’s best films, and now the LA Times site The Envelope is getting in on the action.

The director’s roundtable from the outlet features   Spike Jonze (Her), Steve McQueen (12 Years a Slave), John Lee Hancock (Saving Mr. Banks), J.C. Chandor (All Is Lost), Nicole Holofcener (Enough Said) and Paul Greengrass (Captain Phillips), with the crew of directors talking about their early inspirations, reacting to criticism, luck, failure, casting, and far more. Read More »

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Saving Mr Banks

If all the Marvel, Lucasfilm, Pixar, animation and theme park coverage weren’t hints enough, we here at /Film are Disney fans. Big time. So a film like Saving Mr. Banks, which is about Walt Disney’s struggle to make one of the studio’s greatest films, Mary Poppins, is right in our wheelhouse. The film opens December 20 and will play the AFI Fest presented by Audi this weekend. Peter Sciretta and I were lucky enough not only to see the film before that festival date, but to see it at the Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, CA, where about 45% of the movie was shot and actually took place.

So while this film, which stars Emma Thompson, Tom Hanks, Colin Farrell, Paul Giamatti, Bradley Whitford, BJ Novak and Jason Schwartzman, might not seem like the typical film for us to do a video blog for, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to give our opinion of a Disney film which the Walt Disney Company made in the place Walt Disney actually had these experiences. Read More »