‘Need for Speed’ opens in Macon

Staff reportMarch 13, 2014 

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People watch and take pictures during the filming of “Need for Speed” on Magnolia Street in Macon last spring. Imogen Poots, lead actress in the production, sits in the front seat with Aaron Paul.

PATRICK HOBBS/THE TELEGRAPH

Eleven months after film crews descended on Macon to shoot portions of “Need for Speed,” the high-octane movie opened Thursday night.

Macon filming locations for the movie, based on the popular racing video game, included Hardeman Avenue; Magnolia, Poplar and Cherry streets; and a portion of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.

Wesley Clark, general manager of the Amstar 16 theater, said no special opening-weekend activities are planned for the film, which will be available in traditional and 3-D formats.

“No one really reached out to us wanting to do something special,” he said. “We’ve got a couple of presales. We’re hoping that word will spread and that it’ll do good business.”

If that happens, “we’ll put it in more auditoriums,” he said. “Going from film to computer servers, we can easily play it in more auditoriums if the demand is there.”

The Dreamworks Studios film stars Aaron Paul, who made his mark as Jesse Pinkman on the AMC hit series “Breaking Bad.” In “Need for Speed,” Paul plays Tobey Marshall, a mechanic who happens to have the driving chops of a world-class car racer.

The “Need for Speed” site describes the movie this way: “Fresh from prison, a street racer who was framed by a wealthy business associate joins a cross country race with revenge in mind. His ex-partner, learning of the plan, places a massive bounty on his head as the race begins.”

The movie, rated PG-13, runs a little over two hours. It also features actors Dominic Cooper, Ramon Rodriguez, Rami Malek, Imogen Poots and Dakota Johnson.

“Need for Speed” is just the latest motion picture to film in Macon. Scenes for Clint Eastwood’s 2012 “Trouble With The Curve” were shot in Macon, as well as those for the Jackie Robinson biopic “42.”

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