Waugh in talks to direct ‘Need for Speed’

DreamWorks racing pic based on EA vidgame

Hot off the success of his debut feature “Act of Valor,” co-director Scott Waugh is in negotiations to take the steering wheel of DreamWorks’ racing pic “Need For Speed,” based on the popular video game from Electronic Arts.

Waugh’s deal hasn’t closed yet, but the helmer has the offer and his new reps at WME have spent the last few weeks making a deal with the studio. Waugh and some of his Bandito partners are expected to be involved in a producing capacity as well.

DreamWorks plans to develop “Need For Speed” as a potential tentpole in the vein of Universal’s successful “Fast and Furious” franchise, as the project was the first that DreamWorks spent money on after reupping its financing deal with Reliance Entertainment.

Siblings George and John Gatins developed the project together, and George Gatins wrote the script. John Gatins will produce with EA.

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UTA, which reps EA and the Gatins, assembled the package that DreamWorks secured in a bidding war, as Variety first reported April 16.

Electronic Arts released plot-driven “Need for Speed: The Run” as the 18th installment in the franchise last November. Before “The Run,” the “Need for Speed” games generated more than $100 million for EA since the first bowed in 1994. Company plans to release a new “Need for Speed” each fall.

Waugh co-directed “Act of Valor” with his Bandito Brothers partner Mike ‘Mouse’ McCoy. Modestly-budgeted action pic has grossed nearly $80 million worldwide since Relativity Media released the film to strong reviews in February.

Waugh, repped by WME, is one of five partners at the transmedia studio Bandito Brothers.