Scott Waugh, the director of DreamWorks Pictures' new action-adventure “Need for Speed” was looking for someone special for the role of Anita, the girl the film's hero let get away. Waugh found her in Dakota Johnson, the daughter of actors Melanie Griffith and Don Johnson, and one of the hottest, new stars in Hollywood, having taken on the coveted role of Anastasia Steele in the upcoming “50 Shades of Grey.”
“Need for Speed” centers around Tobey Marshall (Aaron Paul), a blue-collar mechanic who races muscle cars on the side in an unsanctioned street-racing circuit. He and Anita have a long history, but he lost her to the big city and arrogant, rich rival, Dino Brewster (Dominic Cooper).
Waugh says, “Dakota is the siren we have in this movie. You can’t take your eyes off of her when she’s on screen. You just get totally sucked into her world and she’s incredible.”
Following her motion picture debut in “Crazy in Alabama,” Dakota Johnson went on to give critically acclaimed performances in “The Social Network” and “21 Jump Street,” among others. She will soon be seen in the coveted role of Anastasia Steele in “50 Shades of Grey.”
Johnson says that working with Aaron Paul and Dominic Cooper was a very fulfilling experience. “Aaron is so gifted and so accessible. Dominic is the same. It’s so nice to work with actors who accept what you’re giving them and they give it back to you. It’s so much fun to watch them work.”
“Need for Speed” marks an exciting return to the great car culture films of the 1960s and ’70s, when the authenticity of the world brought a new level of intensity to the action on-screen. Tapping into what makes the American myth of the open road so appealing, the story chronicles a near-impossible cross-country journey for our heroes — one that begins as a mission for revenge, but proves to be one of redemption.
Struggling to keep his family-owned garage afloat, Tobey reluctantly partners with the wealthy, ex-NASCAR driver Dino Brewster. But just as a major sale to car broker Julia Maddon (Imogen Poots) looks like it will save Tobey's shop, a disastrous race allows Dino to frame Tobey for a crime he didn’t commit, and sending Tobey to prison while Dino expands his business out West.
Two years later, Tobey is released and set on revenge — but he knows his only chance to take down his rival Dino is to defeat him in the high-stakes race known as De Leon — the Super Bowl of underground racing. However to get there in time, Tobey will have to run a high-octane, action-packed gauntlet that includes dodging pursuing cops coast-to-coast as well as contending with a dangerous bounty Dino has put out on his car. With the help of his loyal crew and the surprisingly resourceful Julia, Tobey defies odds at every turn and proves that even in the flashy world of exotic supercars, the underdog can still finish first.
Based on the car racing video game of the same name, “Need for Speed” captures the freedom and excitement of the game, while bringing to life the passion for the road that has made our love of cars so timeless.
Opening across the Philippines on March 12,“Need for Speed” is distributed in the Philippines by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures International.