Whether you are a car nut or not, you have probably played an entry in the Need for Speed racing series. Spanning decades of platforms, from the 3D0 and MSDOS, to the next-gen consoles of today, and helmed by an endless list of developers, Need For Speed has been a mainstay in Electronic Arts’ armada of blockbuster games. Now though, Need For Speed has been adapted into a feature film and it looks as pulse-pounding as its video game brothers and sisters. As the video games always promise something new and exciting with each rendition, the film does not disappoint. You’ll have to wait until March to see it, but here’s what you can expect from the upcoming thrill ride.
First off, Aaron Paul plays the title character, Tobey Marshall. Mostly everyone will recognize Paul from the hit AMC show, Breaking Bad. His character is quite a bit different from what you’ve come to expect from Paul and his acclaimed TV show. Need For Speed promises to deliver a good old-fashioned adrenaline-pumping story of vengeance with a hint of burning rubber and explosions. Marshall, a racecar driver, is released from prison after being framed for a crime he did not commit. He takes off on a series of underground street races to clear his name and get back at the people who played a hand in locking him up.
The director is Scott Waugh, who knows a thing or two about action and adventure. Waugh himself is a classically trained stunt man turned director who is best known for 2012’s Act of Valor, which used active duty US Navy SEALS as actors. Waugh is obviously no stranger to the explosion and crash-filled genre, so its safe to say the film is in good hands.
Need For Speed prides itself on little to no CG effects. So how were all those crazy crash sequences filmed? The good old-fashioned way: they crashed the cars! Don’t worry: no exotics were harmed during filming. The manufacturers such as Buagtti, Mclaren, and Koenigsegg shared confidential car specs with the film’s producers. Fifteen chassis and fiberglass shells for each model were produced because the real cars weren’t camera mount-friendly. Even the real cars weren’t exactly the real deal. They all shared the same drivetrain, same 430 horsepower General Motors LS3 V8 engine, and gained some weight (3200 pounds) for their roles. The only car that was actually factory built was the title Ford Mustang Shelby GT500. Seven were produced in all: four 5.0L V8s, two 5.8L supercharged V8, and one 3.7L V6. They were all custom built by Ford Racing.
Thanks to the stuntman roots of Waugh, the film actually gets more real from there. There were stunt drivers (such as rally champ Tanner Foust) for some scenes, but when you see the actors in car, it is actually them driving! The actors in the film went through rigorous performance driving training to whip them into shape for their roles. This is especially impressive for Imogen Poots (28 Days Later) who plays Julia. Prior to auditioning for the role, she didn’t know how to drive!
Need For Speed promises the finest cars, high-octane races, and more pulse-pounding action than you can shake a stick shift at. Even better, it’s all real. Whether you’re a gearhead or just someone looking for an exciting flick, Need For Speed looks to take on all comers. You have played the games, now buckle up for what looks to be the biggest action film of the year.