Douglasville was once again star struck as the production crew for the upcoming movie, “The Founder” rolled into town.

Actor Michael Keaton was back in downtown Douglasville Thursday morning putting finishing touches on production of “The Founder.” The filming took place in the vacant parking lot on Church Street adjacent the old Douglasville Police Department building, which was transformed this past summer into a 1950s McDonald’s facade. 

Breezy Straton, project manager for the Development Authority of Douglas County, previously described the movie as “the story of how Ray Kroc met Mac and Dick McDonald, who were running a burger operation in the 1950s in Southern California. Kroc was a milkshake salesman from Illinois and came across Dick and Mac McDonald and said, ‘Oh, wow. That’s really fast how you did those hamburgers.’ He saw the franchise potential and basically maneuvered himself into a position with them to pull the company from the brothers and create a million dollar empire.”

The film crew and Keaton were in Douglasville to do what they call in the film industry “pickups” or additional photography, according to the biopic’s producers Aaron Ryder and Don Handfield, who were in town for the final shooting here. 

Keaton, in his role as Ray Kroc, was sporting a 1950s-era suit, white shirt with a bright red tie and an overcoat. He took direction in front of the camera to stand in a plot of land, kneel down and gently scoop up a handful of soil, examine it and then let it fall back to the ground.

The producers said the movie is planned for a Thanksgiving release this November.

Ryder is a producer, known for “Memento” (2000), “The Prestige” (2006) and “Donnie Darko” (2001) and the 2014 film “Transcendence,” which starred Johnny Depp and Morgan Freeman.

Handfield is an actor and writer, known for “The Throwaways” (2015), “Touchback” (2011) and “My Name Is...” (2005). He is a partner of the film production company The Combine, which he founded with actor Jeremy Renner.

This is not his first movie to be filmed in Douglas County.

“This is the second movie we’ve filmed here,” said Handfield.

Douglas County has been the filming location for several movies in recent years including “Kill The Messenger,” in fall 2013, which was produced by Handfield. 

He said that he really likes Douglasville, and plans to begin shooting another movie here next year.

“The town has been incredibly generous and accommodating,” said Handfield. “The city, the police have been very generous. It’s a beautiful town.”

“The Founder” is being directed by John Lee Hancock Jr. an American screenwriter, film director and producer. He is best known for directing the sports drama films “The Rookie” (2002) and “The Blind Side” (2009) and the historical comedy-drama film “Saving Mr. Banks” (2013). 

Contact Liz Marino by email at liz@douglascountysentinel.com or by phone at 770-942-6571 ext. 233.

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