×

“Birdman” star Michael Keaton is in early negotiations to star as Ray Kroc in indie movie “The Founder,” the story of how Kroc turned McDonald’s into a global fast food empire.

FilmNation is producing along with Jeremy Renner and Don Handfield, who will produce through their production shingle The Combine. The company plans to shoot later this year.

Variety reported last month that John Lee Hancock was in talks to direct and that Keaton was interested in taking the role.

The story, developed in the vein of “The Social Network,” will focus on how Kroc — a salesman of milkshake dispensers — created one of the most powerful brands in the world. Kroc began working for the McDonald brothers in 1954 at the age of 51 as a franchising agent and bought the chain for $2.7 million in 1961.

“The Wrestler” scribe Robert Siegel wrote the script for “The Founder.” At one point in development, FilmNation approached Tom Hanks for the role of Kroc but he passed.

Keaton came on board last week to star in Universal-Legendary’s “Kong: Skull Island.” He is represented by ICM Partners and Anonymous Content.

News about the Keaton talks was first reported by The Hollywood Reporter.