Cudi will play a member of Aaron Paul's street racing crew, which is taking part in a New York to Los Angeles race to seek revenge after Paul was framed for the death of a friend. Dreamworks has said that the film is aiming for the tone of car culture movies of the 1970s.
Dreamworks acquired the Need for Speed film rights from EA last year. Production is due to begin early this year, with a release planned for 2014.
Steven Spielberg, DreamWorks chairman, said at the time, "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."