Betsy Speicher

Atlas Shrugged Movie On Hold

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According to an interview with Angeline Jolie in Access Hollywood (click here):

The adaptation of Ayn Rand's classic novel, "Atlas Shrugged," is on hold for the time being. Jolie reportedly said: "The thing with 'Atlas' is just, we all feel that it's one of those projects where if you can't do it right, you really can't touch it. So we have not had all the pieces come together. There's not been a director that's right to come on, or all of those elements. So until it does, you know, I certainly don't want to be a part of something that's just put together to hit 'this date.'"

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According to an interview with Angeline Jolie in Access Hollywood (click here):
The adaptation of Ayn Rand's classic novel, "Atlas Shrugged," is on hold for the time being. Jolie reportedly said: "The thing with 'Atlas' is just, we all feel that it's one of those projects where if you can't do it right, you really can't touch it. So we have not had all the pieces come together. There's not been a director that's right to come on, or all of those elements. So until it does, you know, I certainly don't want to be a part of something that's just put together to hit 'this date.'"

This might be the opportunity for Jodie Foster to take over the project! :o

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Vespasiano:

This might be the opportunity for Jodie Foster to take over the project!

Or for "us" to raise the funds necessary for Paxton to put together the definitive mini-series of Atlas Shrugged, for the purpose of making it available on the Internet for free.

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The original notice was in Cinematical

[Jolie] had a little more to say about the adaptation of Atlas Shrugged, which is moving forward very slowly, despite having the Plan B powerhouse of Pitt and Jolie behind it. Angelina told me that the project is still on the table, but "the thing with Atlas is just, we all feel that it's one of those projects where if you can't do it right, you really can't touch it. So we have not had all the pieces come together. There's not been a director that's right to come on, or all of those elements. So until it does, you know, I certainly don't want to be a part of something that's just put together to hit 'this date.'"

There is additional commentary on the movie in Cinema Blend

Ayn Rand’s ode to rational self-interest and Objectivism, “Atlas Shrugged” burst onto the literary scene in 1957 with a passion and controversy unseen since at least the publication of Salinger’s “Catcher In The Rye” in ‘51. Like Michael Moore or the Catholic Church, it immediately polarized its audience, cementing both lifelong fanatics and foes. Two of the more outspoken backers are Hollywood’s favorite power couple Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie; unfortunately, the dynamic duo’s support may not be enough to get a film version off the ground.

According to Cinematical, who recently sat down and spoke with Jolie, the project seems to be in idle mode. Rather than the conventional production hell, this potential film has been stalled by an unwillingness to move forward without all of the pieces in place. The idea of waiting until the movie can be done right is a novel concept for Hollywood; however, it’s one that you really have to admire.

(read more)

and IGN

It looks like the latest push to get a film version of Atlas Shrugged into theaters was another false start. Angelina Jolie, a fan of the renowned novel, was set to star in the role of the main heroine -- a tenacious and strong-willed railroad executive. The book was adapted into screenplay form by Randall Wallace (Braveheart), and production was set to begin this year.

[...]

In spite of the big names associated with it over the years, Atlas Shrugged is just one of those films that has trouble reaching the starting gate. Past attempts have had Clint Eastwood and Robert Redford attached, and at one point a miniseries nearly got off the ground at TNT.

(read more)

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I am not much for conspiracy theories, but I'll make an exception for this one. I think there are too many leftist creeps in Hollywood who realize how devastating the movie would be to all that they hold dear. Perhaps it will take a relatively independent such as Peter Jackson in New Zealand (Lord of the Rings) to make this movie, away from the saboteurs.

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My understanding is that a movie cannot get financed without having locked up distribution. This is yet another front that can be used against an Atlas Shrugged movie.

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Kurt, get ready to pay up! :o

:)

theDML2112

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Kurt, get ready to pay up! :o

With Angelina's latest morally relativistic grab for attention, this project looks worse all the time. I would happily, and preferably, be wrong, lose the bet, and donate the $10 to ARI, rather than sit through three hours of spitting on Miss Rand, and man, and know that you had to pay for it to boot. I've never been so fired up to lose a bet!

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I was thinking of this recently. I thought it strange that Hollywood would let it be made. It would be too much of a threat. It would represent the birth of Romanticism in film. Hollywood is so Naturalist. And deeper than that, an Atlas movie would challenge the philosophies of Hollywood. We probably just need to get some Japanese artists to make it in Anime.

Can someone explain this 'distribution' aspect of the movie industry to me. I've heard of this recently. What's the problem?

Jose.

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The fact that the film was placed on indefinite 'hold' may turn out to be a good thing. I finally got to read the "Script" magazine interview with Randall Wallace, the man who was adapting AR's novel. Here are some of the things he said:

Look, the contention of the novel is that a revolution occurs, that the government surrenders power, that men put down guns and surrender power on the strength of a three-hour speech. This works in the context of a philosophical treatise. But in the real world?

It's all well and good to assert that we will live for no other person's needs but our own.; that we will express out thoughts as we see them and be true to our own Creation; and that sacrifice and duty and honor are corrupt. But the right to assert that has been bought by Tennessee boys carrying rifles who were willing to die for others' rights. And certainly the Russian Revolution, and Hitler, and Mao have not listened to a three-hour speech and put down their weapons.

Wallace also describes a scene he adapted:

There is a scene in which Dagny Taggart and Hank Rearden have succeeded, when everyone else was convinced they wouldn't, to build the railroad with 'Rearden metal,' and they've gotten to Ellis Wyatt's house and ended up as lovers. The next morning Rearden is just wracked by guilt. He's in an absolutely loveless marriage, and no one on the planet Earth has understood or appreciated him until Dagny Taggart, who sees exactly how unique and powerful and wonderful a person he is, and he recognizes that in Dagny. Yet he feels enormous guilt, as if he's betrayed everything within him. And the two of them are together the morning after.

In the book there are just huge, long waterfalls of words and descriptions there. But in the screenplay, I wrote that Dagny wakes. She reaches and Rearden isn't in the bed beside her. She opens her eyes and Rearden is sitting at the window, staring out. She moves to him and touches his thigh. He looks at her and he says. 'I'm so sorry, please forgive me. I've violated everything I am.'

And she lifts his face, gently and lovingly, and says, 'I want you to listen to me very carefully because what I am about to tell you comes from the absolute depths of my soul.' Then she slaps him across the face. BAM! and says, 'Don't ever apologize to me.'

When I wrote that, I said to myself: 'I've got it. I know how this should work.'

Wallace says further:

I think Rand would love that [scene]. And one of the great things is that the guys at Lionsgate [the producers of the film at the time] actually love this work; you really want to be with a studio where they actually get what it is. When I told them that scene, they came out of their seats and said, 'That's great!' Both the guys who love Atlas Shrugged and the guys who aren't Rand devotees but love good movies, they went, 'Yes!'

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The fact that the film was placed on indefinite 'hold' may turn out to be a good thing.

Hmm. I'm inclined to agree. :(

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It is worth noting that Ayn Rand never implied that Galt's speech convinced the country's leaders to abdicate. Rather, it was the strike--the withdrawal of the men of the mind--that forced them to.

This is basic Shrugged. So I too am glad that this project has been put on hold. In fact, I find myself wishing that it would be abandoned entirely by this crew.

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This is basic Shrugged. So I too am glad that this project has been put on hold. In fact, I find myself wishing that it would be abandoned entirely by this crew.

I agree. The more I heard about this project the more I dreaded the final result. This was doubly true after reading the essay on "Adapting The Fountainhead To Film" in Robert Mayhew's recent anthology; it contains a number of fascinating remarks from Rand on the problems and difficulties she had adapting one of her own works for film, and comments on the way that even seemingly minor changes like the ones Wallace was referring to above would make the whole screenplay disintegrate into triviality.

Although I will admit I was kind of looking forward to the (hypothetical) Atlas Shrugged Happy Meal with Rearden Metal Toy Surprise! :(

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Although I will admit I was kind of looking forward to the (hypothetical) Atlas Shrugged Happy Meal with Rearden Metal™ Toy Surprise! :(

Also the Dagny doll in her business suit and tiny blue-green metal bracelet.

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