Earlier this month, the Weinstein Company debuted its newest trailer for upcoming film, The Founder, a biopic chronicling a salesman’s efforts to grow a burger business owned by two brothers: Mac and Dick McDonald.
The result, of course, was McDonald’s, the fast food empire which has franchised worldwide since its incorporation in 1961.
Before McDonald’s was essentially bought out by itself, it was a bustling burger joint in Southern California. The McDonald brothers were known for their speedy service and fast preparation of each meal.
Their unexpected success came after Ray Kroc, played by Michael Keaton, convinced them to sell the business for a few million dollars. By the time Kroc died in 1984, he was worth $8 billion.
McDonald’s has spent the majority of its recent years fending off criticism of business model, namely the contents of its food. Morgan Spurlock’s film Supersize Me drew plenty of attention to the restaurant after its premiere in 2004.
America’s obesity epidemic is almost always tied to the fast food industry, with McDonald’s at the center. Sugary soda and other additives have also been blamed for increasing rates of gum disease, which affects 47.2% of adults over the age of 30.
But this biopic does not place central focus on the number of complaints McDonald’s has seen and resolved in recent history, but the rise of the business as pioneer in international capitalism, despite its humble beginnings.
The film, directed by John Lee Hancock, has been compared to films like The Social Network, about Facebook, as well as There Will Be Blood, a historical drama about the oil boom in Southern California.
John Carroll Lynch, who starred in the 1996 film Fargo, takes on the role of Maurice “Mac” McDonald, and Nick Offerman, well known for his roles in the critically acclaimed FX series Fargo (based on the film) as well as Parks and Recreation, plays Dick McDonald.
Critic Matt Zoller Seitz of RogerEbert.com said:
“I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t thought about The Founder constantly since seeing it…It’s an ad that becomes a warning before circling around and becoming another, darker kind of advertisement, and one of the most intriguing and surprising things about The Founder is that, in the end, it seems vaguely ashamed of itself for letting this happen.”
The film was originally released on Dec. 7, 2016, and hits theaters nationwide on Jan. 20, 2017.