Michael Keaton's Ray Kroc Biopic Makes Fast Food Look Fascinating

By Adam Campbell-Schmitt |

Unless you’re a modern day hunter-gatherer there is a very good chance you've eaten at a McDonald's. That's due in large part to the fact that they're pretty much everywhere, part of an empire created by the ingenious (or nefarious, depending on how you see it) "founder" Ray Kroc. The reason that title is in quotes is the crux of the new biopic The Founder about the father of fast food franchising as played by Michael Keaton.

Kroc may have gone down in history as the founder of McDonald's, the $92 billion chain of questionable quality burgers that now sports over 36,000 locations worldwide. But the restaurant itself, the original McDonald's in San Bernardino, CA was actually started by brothers Richard and Maurice McDonald (played by Nick Offerman and John Carroll Lynch) who had the idea of getting people a meal not in 30 minutes, but 30 seconds. In 1954, along came 52 year-old milkshake machine salesman Ray Kroc who, after questioning why they were buying multiple units, was turned onto their vision of assembly line dining under golden arches and couldn't resist joining in.


That brief moment of unity didn’t last and Kroc's relationship with the McDonald brothers  and their humble idea for a hamburger shack quickly dissolved. Kroc saw a much bigger picture, including franchises and starting a side company simply to own the real estate those outlets operated on. As the trailer suggests, Kroc took a no holds barred strategy toward success and left the brothers in his wake. Eventually Kroc acquired the McDonald's name while growing the brand to the behemoth we know today. And the rest is heartburn-inducing history. The Founder will be served up in theaters on August 5th.