Atlas Shrugged Film is Shooting in June, But Without a Cast?
The last time we wrote anything about the adaptation of Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged that's in the works was way, way back in 2007, when Ukrainian director Vadim Perelman (of House of Sand and Fog and The Life Before Her Eyes) was still attached. We finally have a new update, though, as Deadline is reporting that entrepreneur John Aglialoro, who bought the option on the book some 17 years ago, has announced that he's personally financing the film as an independent feature and will even begin shooting in Los Angeles on June 11th - but he doesn't have any actors lined up yet at all. Uh, how is he going to pull this off last minute?
Aglialoro has hired Stephen Polk, an actor/producer who help direct Baggage in 2008 (uncredited), will be directing Atlas Shrugged. Polk made this statement about why they're going to start shooting right away:
"For more than 15 years, this has been at studios and there has been a whole dance around who'll play the iconic roles," Polk said. "Making it an independent film was the game-changer. Everybody is saying, how can you shoot this movie without a star? We're shooting it because it's a good movie with great characters. We've been in pre-production for months, but kept it a mystery. Part of the reason is because there's so much crap about how you need a great big budget and stars. We aren't looking for big names to trigger press or financing."
Interesting comments, but in the end, won't they feel a bit let down if they finally adapt a classic novel that has been waiting for years to be adapted and no one even sees it or cares about it? It seems like he's saying we'll make it however we want, and we don't care about the audience which, sadly, doesn't really work well. Anyway, the script was co-written by John Aglialoro and Brian O'Tool, and isn't just a condensed version of the book - Aglialoro also announced that he will be making four films from the book and will be starting production on the first in June. Apparently they have been talking to some big actresses (Charlize Theron, Maggie Gyllenhaal), but no one has been officially confirmed yet. I wonder who they will use in the end?
For those unfamiliar with Ayn Rand's epic novel, Atlas Shrugged explores a dystopian United States where leading innovators, ranging from industrialists to artists, refuse to be exploited by society. The protagonist, Dagny Taggart, sees society collapse around her as the government increasingly asserts control over all industry, while society's most productive citizens, led by the mysterious John Galt, progressively disappear. We'll definitely let you know what happens with this and if Aglialoro and Polk end up actually casting any major actors before this starts shooting next month. I guess we'll just hope for the best, right? Thoughts?