Sisile Kesler

Written by Sisile Kesler

Modified & Updated: 31 May 2024

Jessica Corbett

Reviewed by Jessica Corbett


The Founder is a fascinating movie that delves into the captivating story behind the rise of one of the world’s most iconic fast-food chains: McDonald’s. Directed by John Lee Hancock and released in 2016, this biographical drama stars Michael Keaton as Ray Kroc, the man who turned a small family-owned burger joint into a global empire. With its gripping narrative and stellar performances, The Founder takes viewers on a journey through the early days of McDonald’s and the challenges and controversies faced by its ambitious founder. In this article, we will explore 44 intriguing facts about The Founder that shed light on the making of the film, the cast and crew, and the real-life events that inspired this compelling story.

Key Takeaways:

  • The Founder is a movie about how McDonald’s became a global giant. It’s based on real events and shows the hard work and sacrifices that went into building the fast-food empire.
  • The movie gives a peek into the history and impact of McDonald’s. It’s a story of ambition, determination, and the rise of a cultural phenomenon that changed the way people eat fast food.
Table of Contents

The Founder

The Founder is a biographical drama film that was released in 2016.


The film stars Michael Keaton, who portrays the role of Ray Kroc, the founder of McDonald’s.


The Founder tells the story of how Ray Kroc turned a small hamburger restaurant into a global fast-food empire.

Real-Life Events

The movie is based on real-life events and depicts the rise of McDonald’s as a business phenomenon.

Historical Accuracy

While the movie takes some creative liberties, it stays largely true to the real events and the characters involved in the McDonald’s story.

The McDonald Brothers

The McDonald brothers, Richard and Maurice, are portrayed by Nick Offerman and John Carroll Lynch, respectively.


The Founder was directed by John Lee Hancock.


The screenplay for the movie was written by Robert Siegel.

Critical Acclaim

The film received generally positive reviews from both critics and audiences.

Box Office Success

The Founder grossed over $24 million worldwide.

Awards and Nominations

Michael Keaton received a Golden Globe nomination for his performance in the film.

Fast-Food Industry

The movie offers insights into the history and dynamics of the fast-food industry.

Business Strategy

The Founder explores Ray Kroc’s innovative business strategies that revolutionized the franchising model.

Marketing Techniques

The film showcases the marketing techniques used by McDonald’s to promote its brand.

Opening Credits

The opening credits of the film feature vintage McDonald’s advertisements and slogans.

Ray Kroc’s Motivation

The movie delves into the motivations and aspirations that drove Ray Kroc to succeed.

Entrepreneurial Spirit

The Founder highlights the entrepreneurial spirit and determination necessary to build a successful business.

The Golden Arches

The movie sheds light on the iconic golden arches, which have become synonymous with McDonald’s.

Cultural Impact

The Founder explores the cultural impact of McDonald’s on American society and beyond

Supporting Cast

The ensemble cast includes actors such as Laura Dern, Linda Cardellini, and Patrick Wilson.

McDonald’s Branding

The film showcases the meticulous attention to detail in McDonald’s branding and uniformity.


The movie offers an intriguing glimpse into the behind-the-scenes operations of the fast-food giant.


The film features a soundtrack composed by Carter Burwell, capturing the essence and era of the story.

Historical Significance

The Founder holds historical significance as it chronicles the growth of one of the world’s most recognized brands.

Business Ethics

The movie raises questions about business ethics and the impact of corporate expansion on small businesses.

Audience Reception

The Founder resonated with audiences, sparking conversations about the influences of capitalism and ambition.

Character Development

The movie effectively portrays the development and transformation of Ray Kroc as a character.

Ray Kroc’s Legacy

The Founder showcases Ray Kroc’s lasting impact on the fast-food industry and his enduring legacy.

Cultural Reflection

The film provides a cultural reflection on the rise of fast food and its implications on society.

Immersive Experience

The movie takes viewers on an immersive journey through the origins and growth of McDonald’s.

Historical Context

The Founder contextualizes the story within the broader historical and social context of the time.

Ray Kroc’s Perseverance

The film emphasizes Ray Kroc’s enduring perseverance and his ability to overcome obstacles.

Cinematic Excellence

The Founder displays exceptional cinematography and production design, capturing the essence of different eras.

Behind-the-Scenes Talent

The movie showcases the talent and craftsmanship of the crew involved in bringing the story to life.

Inspirational Tale

The Founder tells an inspirational tale of ambition, determination, and the pursuit of the American Dream.

Iconic Moments

The film recreates iconic moments in the history of McDonald’s, such as the creation of the fast-food concept.

Historical Footage

The movie seamlessly blends historical footage with the narrative, adding depth and authenticity.

Personal Sacrifices

The Founder explores the personal sacrifices made by Ray Kroc on his path to success.

Advertising Campaigns

The film showcases the memorable advertising campaigns that played a crucial role in McDonald’s success.

Social Commentary

The Founder provides social commentary on consumer culture and the growth of the fast-food industry.

The Franchise Model

The movie delves into the franchise model and its impact on the growth and sustainability of McDonald’s.

Ray Kroc’s Vision

The Founder highlights Ray Kroc’s visionary approach to business and his ability to think outside the box.

Opening Restaurants

The film portrays the challenges and triumphs of opening new McDonald’s restaurants across the country.

Cultural Phenomenon

The Founder showcases how McDonald’s became a cultural phenomenon and changed the way people consume fast food.


In conclusion, The Founder is a captivating movie that tells the story of Ray Kroc and the creation of the global fast-food empire, McDonald’s. With outstanding performances from the cast, particularly Michael Keaton as Ray Kroc, the film successfully combines drama, history, and entrepreneurship into a compelling narrative. The Founder sheds light on the complex character of Ray Kroc, highlighting both his ambition and his controversial business tactics.

The movie also offers a glimpse into the origins of one of the most iconic brands in the world and the struggles faced by the McDonald brothers, played by Nick Offerman and John Carroll Lynch. It brings to the forefront the ethical dilemmas and sacrifices involved in building a successful business.

Overall, The Founder is a must-watch for anyone interested in business, history, or simply a good biographical drama. Its engaging storytelling, exceptional performances, and thought-provoking themes make it a standout film that leaves a lasting impression.


Q: Is The Founder based on a true story?

A: Yes, The Founder is based on the true story of Ray Kroc and the creation of McDonald’s. It depicts the real-life events and struggles faced by Kroc and the McDonald brothers.

Q: Who plays the lead role in The Founder?

A: Michael Keaton plays the lead role of Ray Kroc in The Founder. He delivers a compelling performance, capturing the complexities of Kroc’s character.

Q: Can The Founder be considered a business movie?

A: Yes, The Founder can be considered a business movie as it delves into the world of entrepreneurship, highlighting the challenges, triumphs, and ethical dilemmas involved in building a successful business.

Q: Is The Founder family-friendly?

A: While The Founder is generally suitable for a mature audience, it does contain some intense scenes and themes that may not be suitable for young children.

Q: Is The Founder an inspiring movie?

A: The Founder can be seen as inspiring for its portrayal of the determination and drive of Ray Kroc, as well as the entrepreneurial spirit that led him to create a global fast-food empire.

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