How the first ever McDonald's restaurants were recreated for Michael Keaton's new movie


The Founder Production Still Exterior at Night Keaton

The Weinstein Company

"The Founder."

In "The Founder," Michael Keaton plays Ray Kroc, a struggling traveling salesman who goes from selling milkshake machines to becoming the mastermind behind expanding the McDonald's fast-food chain in 1954 after coming across the innovative hamburger stand created by brothers Richard and Maurice McDonald.

Taking the fast-paced kitchen and golden-arches design the brothers created, Kroc came onto the company as the person in charge of making McDonald's a franchise, and by the early 1960s, he was responsible for expanding the company across the country. He ended up buying the company in 1961 in a shrewd deal for $2.7 million.

To accurately portray the origins of the McDonald's empire, "The Founder" director John Lee Hancock called on the services of two-time Oscar-nominated production designer Michael Corenblith to create the first restaurants for the movie.


Corenblith explains to Business Insider how he pulled it off.

"The Founder" is out in limited release Friday and opens nationwide January 20.