The first trailer for Scott Waugh's upcoming driving game adaptation Need for Speed won our hearts purely by virtue of being far more serious and melodramatic than any driving game adaptation has any right to be. With Breaking Bad star Aaron Paul taking the lead as an ex-convict street racer out to take revenge by driving expensive cars at extremely irresponsible speeds, Need for Speed looks like the perfect movie to pass the pre-summer box office blues.
In a featurette that's rather reminiscent of a certain scene from Breaking Bad, Paul gets behind the wheel of various different cars and quite literally burns rubber as he learns to perform a series of driving stunts - as well as mastering the art of not accidentally killing the camera operator.
The training took place at Rick Seaman's Motion Picture Driving Clinic in Rosamond, CA, and Paul's tutor describes him as having a natural flair for pulling off the impressive-looking moves. His character in Need for Speed, Tobey Marshall, is imprisoned for a crime that he didn't commit and eventually emerges from behind bars to launch himself straight into a cross-country race in the hope of avenging the death of his friend.
The long list of stunt drivers and vehicles involved in the making of Need for Speed indicate that the film's race and chase scenes were produced pretty much entirely using practical stunts rather than CGI, and it's exciting to see Paul getting trained up for the role. Placing him in the driver's seat for these scenes is likely to make for a much better film them simply sticking him in front of a green screen and having him pretend to feel the g-force.
It's honestly hard to get a fix on whether Need for Speed is going to be an incredible movie or a downright terrible one, but right now the best bet is that it will fall into the unique category of being simultaneously bad and awesome. If nothing else, it certainly doesn't look boring.
Need for Speed will arrive in theaters on March 14, 2014.