Still from the Electronic Arts game,

Still from the Electronic Arts game,

After months of speculation, software publishing giant Electronic Arts has confirmed that a movie based on its popular Need For Speed video games title is in the works.

DreamWorks Studios has acquired the feature film rights to the game, it was announced jointly this week by DreamWorks CEO Stacey Snider and EA executive Frank Gibeau.

The project is being fast-tracked at DreamWorks and is set to start production early next year for a release in 2014.

The screenplay is being developed by brothers George (She’s Out of My League) and John Gatins (Real Steel) and is based on the Need for Speed series, but is not based on any individual game. You can take this to mean the story will probably involve a hero or two on the run from the law and for some reason having to drive some of the most desirable cars on the planet.

Serving as director is Scott Waugh, whose most recent project, Act of Valor, featured real-life U.S. Navy SEALs as the main characters. Hopefully, he’ll be able to transfer some the action of his previous project to the new Need For Speed movie, which its creators say will be a fast-paced, high-octane film rooted in the tradition of the great car culture films of the 1970s while remaining extremely faithful to the spirit of the video game on which it’s based.

Since the release of the first Need For Speed game almost 20 years ago, the series has sold more than 140 million units worldwide, generating an estimated $4 billion in retail revenue. Equally, car-based action films are big business, as evidenced by the success of Universal’s Fast and Furious series or DreamWorks’ own franchise hit, Transformers.

Speaking at the announcement this week, Hollywood legend and DreamWorks co-founder Steven Spielberg said, “I'm excited about getting back into the creative trenches with John and George Gatins and my partners at EA to bring to life an exhilarating script based on an epic video game that seems to have been made for the movies.”