TWC, which acquired the film’s rights last year, has changed the release date from Nov. 25 to Aug. 4. The story, developed in the vein of “The Social Network,” will focus on how Ray Kroc — a milkshake dispensers salesman — created one of the most powerful brands in the world. Kroc began working for the McDonald brothers as a franchising agent in 1954, at the age of 51, and bought the chain for $2.7 million in 1961.
Part of the story will focus on Kroc meeting Mac and Dick McDonald, who were running a burger operation in 1950s Southern California. Kroc was impressed by the brothers’ speedy system of making food and saw franchise potential.
Nick Offerman, Linda Cardellini, Laura Dern, B.J. Novak and John Carroll Lynch also star in “The Founder.”
John Lee Hancock directed the film from a script by Robert D. Siegel. It’s produced by Don Handfield, Karen Lunder, Jeremy Renner and Aaron Ryder.
TWC also set its drama “Lion” for the awards-season slot of Nov. 25 with Dev Patel, Rooney Mara and Nicole Kidman starring. It’s directed by Garth Davis and written by Luke Davies, based on Saroo Brierley’s true story “A Long Way Home.”
Producers are Iain Canning, Emile Sherman and Angie Fielder. The story centers on the journey of a 5-year-old who’s taken thousands of miles away from his home and family on a wrong train. Twenty-five years later, he learns of Google Earth and sets out to find his lost family.
TWC chief Harvey Weinstein said both films will compete in the next awards season and that too many awards-calibre films had been released near the end of the year.
“I am determined to show that adult fare and award-caliber movies should be able to open any time of year and be successful,” he said. “Last season was saw a crowded fall where some terrific films struggled to find an audience. This year I want to spread out our slate and give them the best opportunity to succeed.”
“‘The Founder’ is brilliant and one of the most controversial films I have had the pleasure to be associated. The story of Ray Kroc should ignite adult audiences this summer and send the incredible team of John Lee Hancock and Michael Keaton back to the Dolby Theater. The touching and beautiful family story of ‘Lion’ has tremendous performances by Dev Patel, Nicole Kidman and Rooney Mara and will work really well during the holiday season.“