Of the many video game adaptations in various stages of development hoping to break the ‘video game movies are bad’ curse, Need For Speed was not one of the ones video game playing moviegoers were expecting to see realized so soon.

Perfectly timed with the release of Need For Speed: Rivals –  the latest installment in the long-running video game franchise – hitting retail, Disney Studios and DreamWorks Pictures are kicking into gear the marketing campaign for their hopeful car racer franchise with a brand new and exciting trailer.

The video games industry was first two get a glimpse at the live-action take on Need for Speed when star Aaron Paul made a surprise appearance during video game publisher Electronic Arts’ press conference this summer at E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo). Paul introduced a brief sizzle reel of behind-the-scenes footage but fans didn’t get a true sense of what the film was about until the studios the first Need For Speed teaser trailer.

Where the teaser was dramatic, slow, epic and focused on visual eye candy of supercars, the new Need For Speed movie trailer brings viewers into a little more of the grit and grime of the intentionally ’70s style revenge flick. While on the set of the film during a day of shooting in Michigan, Steve McQueen’s Bullitt was repeatedly referenced as a source of inspiration and we witnessed pro drivers performing insane high-speed maneuvers with cars through downtown traffic (more on that here). All of the high-speed car chases and action sequences were practical and that’s a big differentiating factor between Disney’s Need For Speed and the most recent few Fast & Furious installments.

The release of the trailer – and production of the movie – is also well-timed considering Aaron Paul’s breakout success in AMC’s hit TV series Breaking Bad which concluded recently to great buzz and admiration. There’s also of course the interest in car films with Fast & Furious 6 taking Universal’s franchise to new heights last summer with a fast-tracked sequel in production for release next summer with a new director – also interested in changing the tone and aiming for a ’70s throwback.

Director Scott Waugh can deliver intense action and star Aaron Paul can deliver intense drama and emotion. Throwing them in the world’s fastest cars in a tale of revenge sounds like a winning formula. Can it do the brand justice and can it compete with Fast & Furious?

Need for Speed hits theaters March 14, 2014.

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