As studios scrabble around for well-established material that can possibly be spun into a lucrative big-screen franchise, the videogame seriesNeed for Speed must have seemed like a no-brainer. 

need for SpeedAaron Paul [R] in 'Need for Speed'

Not only is this the most successful racing game in history, but it would also catch the attention of Fast & Furious franchise fans. To date there have been 22 games based on the original 1994 game, which allowed players to race using different cars on a variety of tracks.

The trick for producers was to come up with something distinctly different from Fast & Furious, so they opted to avoid digital effects, creating the big action scenes with real stunt drivers in cars that actually crash spectacularly. This meant that cast members Aaron Paul and Dominic Cooper had to go through extensive driver training for their roles. 

More: check out our Need for Speed review.

Even costar Imogen Poots has driving scenes in the film, despite the fact that she doesn't drive in real life. "It's ludicrous," she admits, "but in this film I do drive and it's terrific. Aaron does a lot of the stunts when he's actually controlling the car. I wouldn't be able to do that, because I would get distracted by passing pigs! But it's been a blast."

Watch the Need for Speed trailer:

Now it's up to the box office to reveal whether audiences find it this much fun. But with more than 150 million games sold in 20 years, the fanbase is pretty solid.

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