Aaron Paul, the Emmy award-winning star of Breaking Bad, is set to star in DreamWorks' racing video-game adaptation Need For Speed, but so far has said precious little about the project.
Below we have a couple of quotes from the man known to many as Jesse 'Mad Stacks' Pinkman, but before that, here's the plot of the planned movie. Need For Speed will follow Tobey Marshall (Aaron Paul), a street racer who goes into business with rich, arrogant car supplier Dino (Dominic Cooper), only to find himself framed when another friend dies during a race.
Sent to jail, Marshall wants 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.
Michael Keaton plays 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.
Here's what Mr. Paul has to say, first on how he got the gig:
"[It was] all thanks to Steven Spielberg, because he loves Breaking Bad. It was like, 'Yep, I’m going to give you this.' I was in London when I got the phonecall. I think I said, 'Really? Okay. Wow.'"
"Need For Speed is going to surprise everybody. I think a lot of people are thinking it’s going to be this car film, but it’s not that at all. There’s no actual narrative in the game, it’s just superfast cars with the point of view of the driver: his point of view as his car blasts around. And, of course, cops chasing them. It’s just plain make-believe, pure imagination – it’s really, truly a blank canvas using really incredible supercars."
What's interesting here is that it seems the game's point-of-view aspects will be rolled into the movie. But there's also an auspicious awareness that the adaptation doesn't need to be a slavish love letter to fans of the game that will hopefully lead to a successful movie.
As well as talking Need For Speed, Paul also exclusively revealed to Empire his as yet not-officially-100-per-cent-confirmed plans for a massive screening of Breaking Bad's final episode in LA: one that you could buy tickets for and attend (once they're available, anyway).
"I’ve mentioned a little hint on Twitter about inviting people out to watch the final episode with me. So here you go: I’m inviting the world to watch the final episode with the entire cast in the middle of Hollywood Forever Cemetery."
So it’ll take place at the exact same time as the episode airs on TV?
"First off, we’ll air the pilot and then the cast will all come up and say thank you to everyone for watching. Then we’ll watch the final episode with everybody there and all the proceeds will go to cancer research and drug rehab centres. There will also be one hell of a party."
Breaking Bad fans will know that Aaron Paul and Bryan Cranston don't mess around when it comes to parties. Have a look at some of the dress-up they've got up to already here, here and here. And for more confirmed details as to when it'll take place -- the final half of the final season starts in 'Summer 2013' -- be sure to follow Aaron Paul himself on Twitter for all the news as soon as he has it.
Need For Speed, directed by Act Of Valor's Scott Waugh and overseen by Empire's one-time editor, Mr Spielberg, is aiming for a February 7, 2014 release.