Need for Speed looks to directors
Fast and Furious seems to have cornered the car film genre rather well and lately it's grown up to become something more and offer an unexpected longevity to the franchise, so is there any need for another one? Would an adaptation of the videogame Need for Speed offer anything new and break new ground?
There have been rumours about a Need for Speed film for a while and a new rumour today suggests that an offer to direct the film has been made to a director who has made his name for realistic action. Does this offer a hint to the direction of the film?
The Fast and Furious franchise began as the film that featured cars and driving more than anything else, at times more than story, but it's built an audience for itself and recently has matured rather well offering a much longer lifespan than you might have thought for the franchise. It's built on story and character and finally we've seen a proper heist film that features cars rather than a film about the cars and two dimensional characters, even though I'd like to point out I really enjoyed those films.
So is there a need, if you'll pardon the pun, for a Need for Speed film? Well if they are just copying Fast and Furious I would definitely say no. Copying that franchise to fill any gap it might have left as it moved onto its latest incarnation wouldn't really pull in the audiences, and I don't think that Fast and Furious has lost an audience or left them behind; I think it's taken them with it.
Where then for Need for Speed? Well the latest instalment has a premise of a story that could develop into a film that would stand separate from Fast and Furious and still carry the car as the star, but I wasn't sure how they would film it, that was until I heard the rumour of who the studio had asked to direct the film.
According to Deadline DreamWorks have asked Scott Waugh, the co-director of Act of Valor to direct the film, and while there are denials galore about the story, and indeed that there's a film in development, the script from George and John Gatins from the EA videogame could become something rather special in the hands of Waugh who has a talent for bringing action to the screen and making it real.
What's more is that he's worked with non-actors on that project and to get an authentic in car experience you really do need drivers. Think of how the Steve McQueen driving footage looks in Bullitt and imagine that in a modern day film, it wouldn't happen because the actors aren't allowed to perform anything vaguely risky, even if they can drive to that degree. So populating the film with real drivers and bringing the film to life doesn't sound a million miles from what Waugh did with Act of Valor.
Still, this is all complete conjecture as we have no idea the direction of the film, although I do think it will follow the current Need for Speed videogame story. We'll have to wait and see if he does pick up the task and when we finally hear something about the story itself.