The last time that Michael Keaton played Batman, McDonald's had to pull their Happy Meal promotion because parents thought that Batman Returns was too dark and sexually suggestive for kids. Keaton will now follow up his Birdman renaissance with a not-so-happy-biopic flick about Ray Kroc, the milkshake salesman who franchised the McDonald Brothers' burger stand, and effectively screwed them out of more than $200-million in royalty fees.
The Founder landed on 2014's Black List of the best unproduced movie scripts from last year, but after last weekend's Oscars, there was a franchise-sized fight to distribute the film. And after winning only one trophy this year, Harvey Weinstein's Weinstein Company has emerged the victor in a bidding war for Keaton's next film. Said to be in the vein of The Social Network, the Robert D. Siegel (screenwriter of The Wrestler) script will follow the 50-something Kroc, who, as a struggling milkshake-mixer salesman, was able to sweet-talk his way into owning the McDonald's not-yet-a-mega-chain in 1961. Kroc pretended to be the founder until his death, in 1984.
John Lee Hancock (The Blind Side, The Alamo) will direct. And we're sure that Weinstein sees this as a drive-thru way to get Keaton another Best Actor nomination (with a side of fries). Now, that's a Happy Meal. Keaton should hold onto his acceptance speech he'd already written—Weinstein has been thanked in Oscar acceptance speeches more than God has.