PRETORIA, South Africa – Need for Speed, the No. 1 driving video game, with more than 120 million units sold and 3.8 billion in retail sales, is now a major motion picture and will open in theaters this week, March 20.
The 2015 Ford Mustang will make its first appearance on the silver screen in the upcoming movie. Along with a modified 2013 Mustang dubbed "Beauty" – driven by the lead character played by Aaron Paul from Breaking Bad – also will be in the film.
The South African premier of the movie took place at Monte Casino on Tuesday 11 March. Attended by a large contingent of local media and VIPs the movie was well received ahead of its official release to the public this week.
To Scott Waugh, few cars epitomize action movie hero car better than Ford Mustang. Waugh directed the upcoming movie Need for Speed and selected a modified Mustang GT as the ideal mount for protagonist Toby Marshall in the film, inspired by the long-running video game series from Electronic Arts. Marshall is portrayed by Emmy award-winning actor Aaron Paul as he drives across the country trying to avenge the death of a friend and seek redemption for himself.
“The best movie cars combine tons of power, rear-wheel drive, great handling and the ability to be easily flung around corners,” says Waugh. “As we’ve seen hundreds of times over the years – from ‘Bullitt’ to ‘Gone in Sixty Seconds’ – Mustang fits the bill perfectly, and it’s really a car that represents American culture at its best, which is why we chose it for Toby’s ride in ‘Need for Speed.’”
Raised in a stunt family, Waugh followed his father into the business and learned to drive when he was just 12 years old. As a veteran stunt driver and coordinator, Waugh knows how to create visually compelling action scenes. His résumé includes work on numerous vehicle-focused movies such as “Speed” and “The Italian Job.”
“Cinema is a visual medium that has to appeal to the eyes and ears,” says Waugh. “Translating the visceral experience of speed to the big screen involves much more than just driving past the camera quickly. The car really needs to be the epitome of horsepower, and it doesn’t hurt if it looks good too.”
For the “Need for Speed” Mustang, Ford designers and engineers developed a custom wide-body kit with unique lighting, and put a high-output supercharged V8 engine under the hood of the silver and blue hero car. The one-of-a-kind Mustang looks fast even when parked, but truly comes to life on the silver screen under Waugh’s direction.
Being the ideal mount for the Toby Marshall character goes beyond Mustang’s performance attributes, however. The pony car earned icon status over the past five decades because people like the way it makes them feel as much as they like to get behind the wheel.
Its dynamic proportions and thrilling engine sounds have given Mustang an enduring, nearly universal appeal. It is the most popular vehicle on Facebook, with almost 6 million fans, and there are hundreds of owners’ clubs worldwide from Australia to Iceland to South Africa.
DreamWorks Studios’ “Need for Speed” will open in theaters throughout South Africa on March 20.