The “Fast And Furious” franchise has been such a success that I’m surprised it took so long for this to happen. But finally, the popular videogame series “Need For Speed” by EA is getting a big screen outing. Today, Dreamworks Studios officially announced that they are moving full speed ahead (ha!) with a feature film, with a script and director already in place.
Newcomer Scott Waugh will direct from an original story and screenplay developed by brothers George and John Gatins (“Real Steel”). Their script will be based on the entire series and not any individual game in particular.
The project is described like this: “The film adaptation will be a fast-paced, high-octane film rooted in the tradition of the great car culture films of the 70s while being extremely faithful to the spirit of the video game franchise. In Need for Speed, the cars are hot, the racing is intense and the story keeps players at the edge of their seat. Need for Speed is the premier racing game in the video game industry and one of EA’s best-selling video game franchises. Since the release of the first title, the series has sold more than 140 million units worldwide, generating an estimated $4 billion in retail revenue, making it one of the biggest franchises in video gaming.”
Dreamworks head honcho and and all-round Hollywood legend Steven Spielberg issued an official statement about the project: “I’m excited about getting back into the creative trenches with John and George Gatins and my partners at EA to bring to life an exhilarating script based on an epic video game that seems to have been made for the movies. This is a big piece of business for DreamWorks and we are grateful to Frank Gibeau, Pat O’Brien, Kevin Maher and John and George for choosing us to deliver their goods.”
Stacey Snider, CEO and Co-Chair of DreamWorks, added: “George, John and EA brought a very compelling story to us which we believe is going to make a fun, cool movie franchise. With such a large following around the globe, we’re excited to make a film that does justice to the popular underlying video game series.”
EA Games themselves chipped in with a comment, with Executive Vice President Patrick Soderlund saying: “It’s fantastic to be working with a team that shares not only our love of cars, but also our passion for creating blockbuster action experiences. This collaboration will be greatly enhanced with the team at DreamWorks – which is a great home for the Need for Speed franchise.”
“Need For Speed” is scheduled to begin production early next year, for a 2014 release.