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Michael Keaton to play McDonald’s ‘Founder’ in new film, plus more movie news

Michael Keaton plays a burger king, Ray Kroc,

Michael Keaton plays a burger king, Ray Kroc, in "The Founder." Credit: TNS / The Weinstein Company

WHO Michael Keaton

THE MOVIE “The Founder”

THE DEAL The much-loved actor called his latest project “a sneaky kind of movie” in an episode of The Hollywood Reporter’s “Awards Chatter” podcast. “You think you’re just gonna see a biopic, and then you realize there are layers to this movie.” The film, in which Keaton plays Ray Kroc, the man who turned a small hamburger chain into a global empire called McDonald’s, is hoping to sneak its way into the Oscars as well. Released with little fanfare in December to qualify for the awards, it met with scant but favorable reviews. (“Sharp and satisfyingly fat-free,” said the Los Angeles Times.) “The Founder” opens nationwide Jan. 20, though that’s the week after voting for Oscar nominations closes.

THE MOVIE “Roosevelt Raceway Story”

THE DEAL A documentary is in the works on the onetime harness-racing hotspot in Westbury. The tentatively titled film is being put together by Trade Martin, a music-industry figure (he wrote B.B. King’s “Peace to the World”) with a background in horse racing, along with several others including Freddie Hudson, who grew up in Westbury and drove horses at the track. According to Hudson, who maintains the Roosevelt Raceway memorial Website rrtrotting.com, the film is on track for completion this fall. The raceway opened in 1940 and drew crowds for nearly 50 years until its slow decline and still-controversial closure in the late 1980s.

THE MOVIE “Singin’ in the Rain”

THE DEAL Though scheduled several weeks ago, an upcoming theatrical screening of Gene Kelly’s 1952 musical should take on a new poignancy given the recent death of its star Debbie Reynolds. Considered one of the best films of all time — it’s ranked No. 5, according to the American Film Institute’s most recent list — “Singin’ in the Rain” plays locally as part of the series “Big Screen Classics” presented by Turner Classic Movies.

INFO Jan. 15 and 18 at select theaters around Long Island. Showtimes vary, so visit fathomevents.com for tickets and more information.

An earlier version of this story had the wrong surname for Freddie Hudson.

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