Another John DeLorean-based movie is coming out

One of the recurring themes in Framing John DeLorean, the recently released re-enacted docudrama about the larger-than-life automotive entrepreneur, is the question of why John DeLorean’s great story had yet to be turned into a feature film. That question is now moot, with the planned August 16th theatrical release of Driven, directed by Nick Hamm, and starring Lee Pace as John DeLorean and Jason Sudeikis as FBI informant Jim Hoffman.

It was Hoffman, a career criminal, who helped the FBI manufacture the cocaine charges that put a final scandalous exclamation point on DeLorean’s automotive career. The official trailer for Driven dropped last week.

Interestingly, John DeLorean doesn’t appear, at least from the trailer, to be the central protagonist of Driven. Rather, the drama centers on Hoffman, a relative nobody eager to be accepted by both DeLorean and the FBI. Whereas Hoffman and his FBI handlers take the role of villains in Framing John DeLorean, Driven looks to be more sympathetic to him, with Sudeikis portraying the con artist as a star-struck bumbler, manipulated by federal agents eager to get a high-profile conviction in their war on drugs. With his ’70s ’stache, Sudeikis looks and acts more like Alex Karras’ character on Webster than Michael Rispoli’s erstwhile mobster in Framing John DeLorean.

Driven also features actress Judy Greer as Hoffman’s wife Ellen, who tries to discourage her husband from double-crossing his new friend. Interestingly, DeLorean’s friend and associate, engineer Bill Collins, whose initial support of and ultimate betrayal by John DeLorean provides much of the dramatic arc for Framing John DeLorean, is not portrayed at all in Driven.

You can’t tell from the trailer, but Driven will also be a bit of a courtroom drama, as the cast list on IMDB includes three jurors along with Yuji Okumoto and Justin Bartha as Judge Robert Takasugi and defense attorney Howard Weitzman.

Driven is scheduled for release the week of this year’s Woodward Dream Cruise, which might not be a coincidence. It was young people cruising and racing on Woodward that inspired DeLorean to get behind Jim Wangers’ idea to put a big-block engine in the mid-sized Tempest to make the GTO, thus inventing the muscle car.

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