Stephen Speicher

Brad Pitt & Angelina Jolie in Atlas Shrugged movie?

142 posts in this topic

Thanks for mentioning this, Taylor. I just posted there in the "Atlas Shrugged" thread.

I posted a thread there. I think I might post one or two more to get discussion going. If any of you would do the same, I'm sure we could get some great dialogue on everything from casting to concerns about plot to specific scenes you want to see in the movie!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Relax!

"The film will be based on a script of the first part of the novel, written by Jim V. Hart and reviewed by David Kelley, founder of The Atlas Society-The Objectivist Center."

Translation from Bidinotto-speak:

David Kelley got to read ("review") the first few pages ("the first part") of a draft script which he got through his connection with John Aglioloro (whom he won over by appointing him an officer of his sinking ship).

This is from the TOC website which are holding a Summer Seminar. And guess who is coming

New! Howard and Karen Baldwin, currently producing the major motion picture of Atlas Shrugged, will give an update on the film on Friday, July 7, at 2:15 PM. They will be accompanied by the director and/or other stars if possible.

If the movie results in any advertisement for the TOC, I wish it never gets made. They will destroy any chance Objectivism ever had to change the world.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

....

If the movie results in any advertisement for the TOC, I wish it never gets made. They will destroy any chance Objectivism ever had to change the world.

I agree that if the movie generates publicity for TOC, that will be bad, but why would this one event "destroy any chance Objectivism ever had to change the world"? How do you know it would?

In today's culture, and especially the movie industry, I don't have much hope that a good Atlas Shrugged movie will be made, and if it comes along with associated TOC propaganda that distorts the nature of Objectivism, that will also be a negative. I also wonder to myself how it could have happened that Ayn Rand's estate apparently lost control of the movie such that TOC would be associated with it.

However, Objectivism, and the modern Objectivist movement, are not fragile things that could be stopped by something like one bad movie. There have been things that happened before that negatively influenced the spread of Objectivism (such as the books by the Brandens, and the movie/miniseries that resulted from one of them). In the popular culture, there are many untruths and distortions spread about Objectivism. However, the Objectivist movement has shrugged them off, fought back where necessary to set the record straight, and grown and prospered.

If merely movie publicity for a bad anti-Objectivist orgainzation was enough to stop Objectivism, we'd have lost long ago. But the good is much more resilient than that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

According to this source, and many others, Lionsgate has bought the rights to the film, and both Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have expressed interest in playing John Galt and Dagny Taggart, respectively, in the currently planned movie version of Atlas Shrugged. Jolie is said to be a "longtime devotee" of Ayn Rand, and Pitt is said to be a "fan."

Maybe this movie will really, really, really, really be made this time around.

I hope they never make a movie of Atlas. No movie will do it justice, just as the movie of The Fountainhead did not do that book justice. Had I seen the movie first, I probably would not have read the book. Rand's books are historic works of art and intellectualism that cannot be replicated by others in other media.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I hope they never make a movie of Atlas. No movie will do it justice, just as the movie of The Fountainhead did not do that book justice. Had I seen the movie first, I probably would not have read the book.

Then perhaps you missed the theme and philosophy dramatized in the film. As Ayn Rand noted in a 1948 letter to John Chamberlain,

My experience with the movie has been perhaps even more miraculous than with the book. I wrote the screenplay myself, preserving my theme and philosophy intact. For the first time in Hollywood history, the script was shot verbatim, word for word as written. I had no legal control over the production, yet the picture was made as faithfully as if I controlled it.
Rand's books are historic works of art and intellectualism that cannot be replicated by others in other media.

Miss Rand's works should not be "replicated" at all, but rather essentialized as befits the particular media. I personally am not too optimistic about the quality of the forthcoming film, but in principle I would love to see all of Ayn Rand's fictional work presented in every possible media. The more, the merrier.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's my purely aestheic vote for Hank Rearden:Jason Patric. I really think he would look wonderful in the part, and he is a fine actor as well.

I almost want to say that it would be a better idea to cast less well-known actors for the major roles like Galt, Dagny, Francisco, and Ragnar, and use well-knowns for the older characters like Midas and Akston, such as Morgan Freeman and Anthony Hopkins, respectively. I think the audience would see more of the characters and not the actors--they might be more interested in the story and philosophy rather than seeing Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. Also, people expect certain things out of certain actors. Brad Pitt has a certain style of acting, and if he doesn't act the part people think he should act, there is a possibility people would leave the theaters thinking the movie was bad.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If merely movie publicity for a bad anti-Objectivist orgainzation was enough to stop Objectivism, we'd have lost long ago. But the good is much more resilient than that.

Organizations like the TOC will undercut Objectivism from within. If people come to view TOC as a spokesman for Objectivism, then it will be infinitely harder to fight against the current. How many people will we convince that the philosophy that TOC propagates is not Objectivism?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Organizations like the TOC will undercut Objectivism from within. If people come to view TOC as a spokesman for Objectivism, then it will be infinitely harder to fight against the current. How many people will we convince that the philosophy that TOC propagates is not Objectivism?

If people learn about Ayn Rand from any movie, they'll probably just read some of her books (and there are ARI flyers in most of those). It really seems to me, then, that ARI will get 1000 times more publicity than the TOC out of any Atlas Shrugged movie.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tommy, have you ever read Diana Heisa's blog, Noodlefood? Until I began to read her, I had almost no idea what was between ARI and TOC. Diana was associated with TOC for many years. After going to links she has provided in her many essays concerning TOC, and reading their web site and some of the associated sites, I have no concerns about that bunch. They are no threat to Objectivism. Those who are serious about ideas and Objectivism will find their way to the scholarly works of those educated at ARI. Those who aren't will find a place with TOC to do whatever it is those folks do.

Don't sell people short.

(If I've mispelled Diana's last name, I apologize. I think that's it, but it doesn't look right to me.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If people learn about Ayn Rand from any movie, they'll probably just read some of her books (and there are ARI flyers in most of those). It really seems to me, then, that ARI will get 1000 times more publicity than the TOC out of any Atlas Shrugged movie.

That's true. I hadn't thought of that.

Tommy, have you ever read Diana Heisa's blog, Noodlefood? Until I began to read her, I had almost no idea what was between ARI and TOC. Diana was associated with TOC for many years. After going to links she has provided in her many essays concerning TOC, and reading their web site and some of the associated sites, I have no concerns about that bunch. They are no threat to Objectivism. Those who are serious about ideas and Objectivism will find their way to the scholarly works of those educated at ARI. Those who aren't will find a place with TOC to do whatever it is those folks do.

True again. They are no threat to Objectivism. However if people unwittingly start paying attention to TOC instead of ARI (though as danielshrugged mentioned, that is unlikely), they might be a threat to the Objectivist movement.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Organizations like the TOC will undercut Objectivism from within. If people come to view TOC as a spokesman for Objectivism, then it will be infinitely harder to fight against the current. How many people will we convince that the philosophy that TOC propagates is not Objectivism?

I think you overestimate the influence of TOC, and underestimate the judgment of rational people. TOC is a haven for a motley conglomeration of people acclimated to contradictons, and the few rational people of value who wander into that purgatory eventually find their way out before the death of their minds. TOC will hardly "undercut Objectivism from within" because TOC is not within; it is without. Besides, just as what eventually happens to anyone who holds onto a large collection of contradictions, TOC is in the process of self-destruction and will eventually wither away.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Tommy, have you ever read Diana Heisa's blog, Noodlefood? ...

(If I've mispelled Diana's last name, I apologize. I think that's it, but it doesn't look right to me.)

It's Diana Hsieh, and here is a pointer to her blog.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Stephen, thank you. I apologize to Diana. I would have lost everything I wrote if I had gone there to check (I have Noodlefood in my favs). I KNOW how to spell it; I made a point of learning how to spell it. I had a brain burp. Or something.

:unsure:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Organizations like the TOC will undercut Objectivism from within. If people come to view TOC as a spokesman for Objectivism, then it will be infinitely harder to fight against the current. How many people will we convince that the philosophy that TOC propagates is not Objectivism?

We don't have to, thanks to TOC! They are actively distancing themselves from Objectivism. In fact, TOC just changed their name to "The Atlas Society" because

"Atlas" is a less intimidating, more familiar and more memorable name than is "Objectivism."

[in the words of the immortal Dave Barry, "I am not making this up." See this].

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
They are no threat to Objectivism. However if people unwittingly start paying attention to TOC instead of ARI (though as danielshrugged mentioned, that is unlikely), they might be a threat to the Objectivist movement.

They cannot be a threat to the Objectivist movement because they don't call themselves "The Objectivist Center" any more. TOC recently changed its name to "The Atlas Society." The new name is intended to attract fans of Rand's last novel within the general public rather than those interested in Objectivism, or in philosophy or scholarship in general. According to one trustee, the new goal is to create "an Atlas society," not an Objectivist society.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh, do go and read that site. In order to justify renaming themselves "The Atlas Society" (actually, to begin reusing a name and site they had allowed to stagnate), they go into a whole song and dance about how they don't mean Atlas the god straining to hold up the world, but a wonderful, newly defined Atlas who has no need to shrug (I guess). I cannot take seriously anyone who isn't aware enough to be embarrassed by the whole thing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Relax!

"The film will be based on a script of the first part of the novel, written by Jim V. Hart and reviewed by David Kelley, founder of The Atlas Society-The Objectivist Center."

Translation from Bidinotto-speak:

David Kelley got to read ("review") the first few pages ("the first part") of a draft script which he got through his connection with John Aglioloro (whom he won over by appointing him an officer of his sinking ship).

Actually, from what I've heard, David Kelley has read the whole script and made extensive comments upon it. He's heavily involved. So imagine two hours of commentary by DK on the DVD. If the movie is made, that's quite likely to happen. I don't think that's a disaster, since TOC is so obviously not advocating or defending anything like Objectivism these days. However, it's reason to worry a bit, I think.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My own comments on TOC's (second!) name change are here. (I also had some earlier comments here.) It really is beyond absurd.

Regarding my last name, I wish that I had started a list of all the various misspellings when I was married. It would be a pretty long by now! (Not to worry: I'm amused by them, not at all offended. It is a darn strange name!) And just so folks know, it's pronounced more or less like "shay." (It's more like "she" and "eh" compressed into a single syllable, but that's harder for people to pronounce, so "shay" will do.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm glad to hear that you aren't offended, Diana. It's still embarrassing, however, because I visit Noodlefood everyday and I admire you; nothing like a red face to sear it into my brain so I won't make that mistake again.

Thanks for giving a pronunciation. That will make it easier to remember.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Actually, from what I've heard, David Kelley has read the whole script and made extensive comments upon it. He's heavily involved.

Considering Kelley & Cos. motivation to exploit their connection to the movie and exaggerate their participation, do you have that from what you consider a reliable source?

Also, Dr. Peikoff may have a some oversight and control. I have heard that if he doesn't approve of the script, he can withdraw use of Ayn Rand's name and require that the movie have a disclaimer to that effect.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Considering Kelley & Cos. motivation to exploit their connection to the movie and exaggerate their participation, do you have that from what you consider a reliable source?

Absolutely. E-mail me privately if you wish to know the source.
Also, Dr. Peikoff may have a some oversight and control. I have heard that if he doesn't approve of the script, he can withdraw use of Ayn Rand's name and require that the movie have a disclaimer to that effect.
I haven't heard of anything like that, but I hope so. (I'll inquire!)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There's now a link on Bidinotto's site (hat-tip D. Eastbrook, who posted the link on the comments to The Primacy of Awesome blog) that details the production plans for the Atlas Shrugged movie. The good news is that a three part movie is planned and if you read near the end, the Estate of Ayn Rand does have some small input into the early drafts of the scripts. The bad news is that Kelley's involvement is deep enough ("has worked closely with Hart to insure the screenplay's philosophical fidelity to the novel"...sigh!java script:emoticon(':P', 'smid_9')

:D) that he will be listed a co-producer.

Like Mr. Eastbrook I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand I'm hoping against hope that they do not destroy the integrity of the novel. On the other hand Kelley's involvement almost guarantees some issues. According to the article, even Kelley gives the present script an 8 out of 10. Nevertheless, if the movie is a success it should encourage even more people to read the book and it will give an opportunity for increased attention and debate on the ideas involved, even if there might be some misleading things in the movie.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Nevertheless, if the movie is a success it should encourage even more people to read the book and it will give an opportunity for increased attention and debate on the ideas involved, even if there might be some misleading things in the movie.

At OCON 06, Yaron Brook answered a question about the involvement of TAS (formerly TOC) in the making of the movie. He responded that: 1. The Ayn Rand Estate can require a disclaimer indicating that it was not involved in the production and does not sanction it. 2. The movie will publicize the novel and will motivate more people to read it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It was said before that the humanitarian concerns of the Pitt/Jolie team make them unsuitable to play the roles of John Galt and Dagny Taggart. Hank Steuver of the Washington Post satirizes the way they exploit their celebrity status to push their altruist agenda on the rest of us. Steuver is apparently unaware of the plans for the movie, but he brings up Ayn Rand as the one who would protest:

But Brad wants more from us and for us. It turns out the future lies in this constant upscaling of the volunteer heart. Your child must now do charity work to get a diploma, your co-workers are training for another bike-a-thon, and your movie stars are forever looking for a cure -- not a cure for them, a cure for you.

That reliable anti-volunteer, Ayn Rand, would grab a barf bucket (not for you, for her). That sort of cynicism is so passe; you have not seen the light.

[Link: Brad Pitt, Forcing Us to Volunteer]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

According to this source, and many others, Lionsgate has bought the rights to the film, and both Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have expressed interest in playing John Galt and Dagny Taggart, respectively, in the currently planned movie version of Atlas Shrugged. Jolie is said to be a "longtime devotee" of Ayn Rand, and Pitt is said to be a "fan."

Maybe this movie will really, really, really, really be made this time around.

I can't stand Jolie or Pitt, I really do hope they will find other actors for those parts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites