I heard a couple of days ago that John Lee Hancock‘s The Founder (Weinstein Co. 11.25.16) will have its first research screening this evening in Manhattan — 374 days ahead of its release. Then I ran into Keaton at last night’s Spotlight/Spaghettini party and asked him about it. He said he knew about the screening (“Back east, right?) but hasn’t seen it yet…and then he ducked away. Pic tells the story of Ray Kroc (Michael Keaton) and the birth of McDonald’s empire, and you know it’ll be part of next year’s Oscar conversation if Harvey has anything to say about it. The Founder will presumably focus on Kroc’s marginally unscrupulous dealings with original McDonald’s founders Mac and Dick McDonald, not so much when he persuaded them to franchise McDonald’s nationally in 1954 as when he bought them out in ’61 for a relatively modest sum of $2.7 million. But I guess you can’t blame Kroc if the McDonald brothers weren’t smart enough to demand a better deal. Costars include Laura Dern (as Kroc’s wife Ethel Fleming), Nick Offerman, John Carroll Lynch, Patrick Wilson, Ric Reitz and Wilbur Fitzgerald.