Michael Keaton Driven To Need For Speed

He'll host an underground race

Michael Keaton, Herbie Fully Loaded

Even as it looked like DreamWorks' cinematic version of the Need For Speed game series might be headed down a grittier, more dramatic path than, say, the Fast & Furiou**s** films, it appears there’s definitely room for a little showmanship on display. That's because Michael Keaton has stepped aboard the movie and is set to play the organiser of an underground race.

Need For Speed will follow Tobey Marshall (Aaron Paul), a street racer who goes into business with the rich, arrogant car supplier Dino (Dominic Cooper), only to get framed when another friend dies during a race.

Sent to the slammer, Marshall burns with the need for revenge and, once released, signs on for a cross-country race for a chance to strike back. But Dino learns about the scheme and puts a bounty on his head, forcing Tobey to go up against various illegal drivers in powerful vehicles.

Keaton’s playing the reclusive, oddball host of the event, who invites the best racers from around the world to compete. Also in the cast are Imogen Poots (as an exotic car dealer who connects rich clients with supercharged rides), Rami Malek, Kid Cudi, Ramon Rodriguez and Harrison Gilbertson.

Flight’s John Gatins wrote the script with brother George and Act Of Valour’s Scott Waugh is waving the directorial flag. It’s set to arrive in the States on February 7 next year.