Stephen Speicher

Jolie confirmed as playing Dagny Taggart in Atlas Shrugged Movie

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I did some research. See this. http://www.christianitytoday.com/movies/in...allwallace.html
... Wallace: My films portray ideals, and their heroes--both men and women--display courage and faith and love that isn't limited to masculine or feminine. These characters, by the way, are braver and more loving than I am myself; they are models that inspire me, not expressions of a spiritual level that I've achieved. And yes, the men are powerfully masculine, and strong, deeply convicted men aren't often depicted in films.

I find this very encouraging. If Wallace can grasp the overall sense of life of Atlas then he might do a decent job in portraying the characters.

Thanks, ElizabethLee, for finding this.

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I just watched Motorcycle Diaries. The actor who played Che Guevera (Gael Garcia Bernal) was very good. I saw him in Y Tu Mama Tambien, and he was good but he was just a kid, and you could not really admire him as a hero.

Now he's grown up. And I think he can also make a good Francisco D'Anconia. He seems to speak English well, though he has a strong accent, which I'm not sure he can control. Francisco does not have such an accent at all.

Robert Wallace might just do a great job. Thanks for sharing.

Jose Gainza.

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What? They got it right. Not to take this thread off-topic, but as I write elsewhere,

If the characterizations of all the main characters in the new AS movie will be done properly, half of the battle will already be won.

Great characterization, like great direction, cinematography, acting, etc, can only help tell the story those making the movie want to tell.

Troy perverted key elements of the Iliad in a manner consistent with the prevailing philosophy of the day. (One example: The Greeks were made out to be the villains.)

The characterization you found so noteworthy didn't spare key elements of the myth even though the Iliad is far more established than Atlas Shrugged.

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I wrote about Randall Wallace in my blog www.zigory.thinkertothinker.com. Here are the main points I made:

Variety reported that Randall Wallace, writer of “Braveheart” and “Pearl Harbor”, and writer-director of “Man in the Iron Mask” and “We Were Soldiers”, will write and direct “Atlas Shrugged”.

I am only familiar with “Braveheart”, which was decent, and heroic, if somewhat convoluted and ultimately conveying a tragic/malevolent-universe view. ...Because of the less than ideal “Braveheart” and the fact that Wallace majored in religion at Duke University, I am less enthusiastic about him than I was about James V. Hart as the screenwriter. For example, I suspect that all of the explicitly atheistic and anti-religion ideas will be removed from the story.

...The good news is that Wallace is as Hollywood “establishment” as they come, more successful than Hart, and with Angelina Jolie automatically makes “Atlas Shrugged” seen as a major motion picture with great box office expectations (by those people who don’t already know how commercial the story is even without famous names attached). The two of them also assure a huge amount of publicity. Wallace’s association with the currently friendless Mel Gibson in two films, and with the highly successful but critically berated “Pearl Harbor”, may bring negative publicity, but publicity the movie will get.

Interestingly, Jon Voight, Angelina’s father, played President Roosevelt in Wallace's “Pearl Harbor”.

P.S. Karen Baldwin, co-executive producer of “Atlas Shrugged” now says it may not be a trilogy, and that Randall Wallace was hired to revise the screenplay, but may not be the director:

http://www.dailynews.com/entertainment/ci_4537477

”We’ve hired Randall Wallace (”Braveheart,” “We Were Soldiers”), and he’s going to revise the script, so we’re letting Randy and his writing determine how many movies there will be…Ideally we’d like to have the script so we could be in preproduction in the spring.” She added that a director won’t be confirmed for the Lionsgate project until the script is complete.

I dislike the premise that the decision on one versus three films is at the mercy of Randall Wallace’s desires. This means the producers are giving Wallace the power to make decisions the producers should be making. Clearly a single film is not going to be adequate to convey even a tiny percentage of the story. I think Wallace’s clout will cloud the minds of the producers.

However, if Wallace wants a bigger payday he will want to write three screenplays, so there is the hope that will be an incentive towards a trilogy.

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For what it's worth, Wallace's We Were Soldiers is perhaps the best war movie I've ever seen.

I just bought the DVD and will check it out. Why is it the best? What do you like about it?

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I just bought the DVD and will check it out. Why is it the best? What do you like about it?

The most notable aspect of the movie is that it dramatizes the nobility and courage associated with soldiering, whether you are on the good or bad side, without being non-judgmental or egalitarian.

The film is firmly on America's side, and does not make any American soldier look like a monster or criminal. At least, that's how I remember it.

War is ugly, brutal, and deadly; no rational person wants it. But, when the irrational men start one, the good men have to go to get the bad guys.

There may be the rare good man on the other side who is forced into war by his evil compatriots. We Were Soldiers tells us about this rare good man, but focuses mainly on the brave, good men who are soldiers.

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I just found this on Fox News, and thought to post it in justice to Brad Pitt:

Pitt, Jolie Celebrate Birthday at Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater in Pennsylvania

MILL RUN, Pa. — Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie visited Fallingwater, Frank Lloyd Wright's architectural masterpiece, where they celebrated the actor's upcoming birthday, Fallingwater's curator of education said.

The unique home spans Mill Run, a creek that flows through woods about 50 miles southeast of Pittsburgh. Wright built the home for department store magnate Edgar Kaufmann Sr. in the 1930s. The American Institute of Architects voted it the "Building of the 20th Century."

"Brad said he had wanted to experience Fallingwater ever since he took an architectural history course in college," said curator Cara Armstrong. "He and I talked quite a bit about design and art. He was incredibly well-informed about architecture."

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I just found this on Fox News, and thought to post it in justice to Brad Pitt:

Pitt, Jolie Celebrate Birthday at Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater in Pennsylvania

MILL RUN, Pa. — Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie visited Fallingwater, Frank Lloyd Wright's architectural masterpiece, where they celebrated the actor's upcoming birthday, Fallingwater's curator of education said.

The unique home spans Mill Run, a creek that flows through woods about 50 miles southeast of Pittsburgh. Wright built the home for department store magnate Edgar Kaufmann Sr. in the 1930s. The American Institute of Architects voted it the "Building of the 20th Century."

"Brad said he had wanted to experience Fallingwater ever since he took an architectural history course in college," said curator Cara Armstrong. "He and I talked quite a bit about design and art. He was incredibly well-informed about architecture."

Thanks for posting this! It's so nice for a change to hear something positive and of value about a movie star's personal life.

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Thanks for posting this! It's so nice for a change to hear something positive and of value about a movie star's personal life.

You're welcome. It is very heartening news.

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An interview with Angelina Jolie.

Cinematical: Can you give an update on Atlas Shrugged? What sparked your interest in developing it? "I think it's a wonderful book. I'm a fan of her writing. I think it's an amazing project. It's, in many ways, a controversial and complicated project and I think it needs to be done right. There's been a lot of talk as to how that can be and 'what are the important reasons for making it?' There's a lot of really great people involved. It's being written now, and we'll see as the script comes out, how close we are. Then we'll know how close we are to possibly making it. Everybody involved, the producers involved, we all sat down around a table and we all agreed that if we couldn't do it right, if we couldn't do it justice, if along the way any one piece didn't come together like the right director or the right script, then we would all just fold it and not do it. So that's where we're at right now. We're taking it step by step, and we're going to make damn sure that it's done right."

Cinematical: What are the 'important reasons' you referred to? "I think it's too complicated to get into, because I think the discussion about that project, the misconceptions about her [Ayn Rand], different interpretations of her, that script ... it is a huge subject. So I'd be tentative about speaking lightly about it."

[...]

Non-Cinematical Question: Do you want to work with Brad Pitt again? "Who's going to watch the children?"

[...]

Non-Cinematical Question: Do you think a certain amount of deception or self-deception is necessary in a relationship? "No, I think quite the opposite is the only thing that works. I don't want to spend my life having to pretend to be someone else. And I don't want the person next to me to have to pretend, ever, because we've got a long life ahead of us. You want to just be able to be who you are in every moment, and that's the only way you'll ever be truly happy, anyway."

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It's hard to know how much stock to place in a single interview but everything she says is certainly encouraging.

She doesn't strike me as being particularly intelligent or insightful -- more like a decent, ordinary person -- but certainly not the airhead that some have made her out to be. And that I too find encouraging. I really hope this movie finally gets made.

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This link is not working for me. But I'm glad to read at least some of what Angelina Jolie said. As I read the excerpts, a part of me wondered if some of her comments were intended as an initial phase of a campaign to prepare the public for the possible death of a project that is becoming much more difficult for the current producers to push through to completion than they had previously anticipated.

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There is a fairly long article on the Atlas Shrugged movie in the January 11th International Herald Tribune. The article is, at times, somewhat disrespectful towards Miss Rand, but it does give an overview of all the previous filming attempts for the novel, as well as a few tidbits about the current plans. It also has this wonderful picture of Ayn Rand in New York in 1957.

web.0112atlas265.jpg

A few quotes about the current plans.

Randall Wallace, who wrote "Braveheart" and "We Were Soldiers," is working on compressing the nearly 1,200-page book into a conventional two- hour screenplay. Howard and Karen Baldwin, the husband-and-wife producers of "Ray," are overseeing the project, and Lions Gate Entertainment is footing the bill.

Whether Jolie, who has called herself something of a Rand fan, will bring the novel's heroine, Dagny Taggart, to life on screen, or merely wind up on a list with other actresses who sought or were sought for the role remains to be seen. Until now, at least, no one in Hollywood has figured out a formula that promises both to sell popcorn and to do justice to the original text, let alone to the philosophy that it hammers home endlessly, at times in lengthy speeches. (The final one is 60 pages long.) But Baldwin said he believed that Wallace and the rest of their team were up to the task. "We all believe in the book, and will be true to the book," he said.

[...]

Last spring in a twist that might have amused Rand and Anschutz, the latest deal for an "Atlas Shrugged" film project had its inception during Mass at the Church of the Good Shepherd, in Beverly Hills.

Baldwin said that a fellow parishioner, Michael Burns — the vice chairman of Lions Gate — approached Baldwin and his wife "right under the nose of the priest," whispering to them about the rights to Rand's novel and asking to "meet right away."

The challenge, Wallace said, was immediately tempting. As for how he is distilling Rand's novel to a two-hour screenplay, Wallace insisted he had the material under control and was on course to deliver a draft this month.

"I can pretty much guarantee you that there won't be a 30-page speech at the end of the movie," he said. "I have two hours to try to express what Rand believed to an audience, and my responsibility is not only to Ayn Rand, but to the audience, that this be a compelling movie. More people will see the movie than will read 'Atlas Shrugged.' And the movie has to work."

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It also has this wonderful picture of Ayn Rand in New York in 1957.

web.0112atlas265.jpg

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What building is that in the background? I've been around Manhattan quite a bit and don't remember seeing anything like that. Maybe it's no longer standing.

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"I have two hours to try to express what Rand believed to an audience, and my responsibility is not only to Ayn Rand, but to the audience, that this be a compelling movie. More people will see the movie than will read 'Atlas Shrugged.' And the movie has to work."

One of the encouraging things that I continue to read about the movie, is the apparent respect that those involved have for the book and Ayn Rand, even if they are not Objectivists. It could easily have been much worse.

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It also has this wonderful picture of Ayn Rand in New York in 1957.

web.0112atlas265.jpg

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What building is that in the background? I've been around Manhattan quite a bit and don't remember seeing anything like that. Maybe it's no longer standing.

That's the Helmsley Building (New York Central Building), built in 1929.

kveus0620b.jpg

The Ayn Rand picture was taken in 1957, looking towards Grand Central Terminal, before the Pan Am Building was built in 1963.

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What building is that in the background? I've been around Manhattan quite a bit and don't remember seeing anything like that. Maybe it's no longer standing.

It appears to me that Miss Rand is standing on Park Avenue a few blocks away (north?) from Grand Central Station. I do remember seeing that building before, but don't believe I ever knew its name.

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kveus0620b.jpg

The Ayn Rand picture was taken in 1957, looking towards Grand Central Terminal, before the Pan Am Building was built in 1963.

Thanks, I remember it now. No wonder I didn't recognize it. It's dwarfed by the, now, Met Life building.

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One more data point for our discussion about Angelina Jolie: What does Jolie have in common with the likes of Dick Cheney, Condoleezza Rice, Henry Kissinger, Colin Powell and Alan Greenspan? Answer: They are all members of the Council for Foreign Relations!

From the New York Post:

ANGELINA A BABE AMID BRAINIACS

By ANGELA MONTEFINISE and SUSAN EDELMAN

February 25, 2007 -- The prestigious Council on Foreign Relations is about to get a jolt of sex appeal.

The exclusive, Manhattan-based foreign-policy group has decided to admit actress Angelina Jolie, a U.N. goodwill ambassador who has taken more than 30 trips worldwide to advocate for refugees, AIDS orphans and disaster victims.

On Friday night, the council's membership accepted Jolie's nomination - meaning she will soon be rubbing elbows with other club members such as Dick Cheney, Condoleezza Rice, Henry Kissinger, Colin Powell and Alan Greenspan.

The group requires no academic credentials but looks for members who take part in world affairs.

Many current members call Jolie qualified and support her induction.

"Bring her on," said Dr. Gordon Adams, an international-affairs professor. "The idea of having Henry Kissinger and Angelina Jolie in the same organization is dazzling."

Member Carol Adelman, former head of U.S. foreign-aid programs, said, "It's not like Paris Hilton is being nominated." news004.jpg

ANGELINA JOLIE

Joins egghead policy group.

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