Atlas Shrugged Film is Shooting in June, But Without a Cast?
by Alex Billington
May 26, 2010
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?
one of my favorite books.
america on May 26, 2010
They should make it into a TV mini series. I don't think it will play well at the theaters. Theaters are for blockbusters and vampires now, not movies that make you think. As for how relevant this book is to what is going on now, yes the government has been abusing the most productive people in our society by taxing and regulation business too much, but at the same time big business got their revenge by taking over the government via the fed and its banking cartel and also big insurance, big pharma, the military contractors, etc. It's necessary to tell the whole story, not just half of it. There are no angels. Both government and business are guilty.
Michael P. Shipley on May 26, 2010
Michael, your post is full of misconceptions. First, a film doesn't have to play well in the US theaters to make its money back. A lot of people just want to see this film made, and considering the dedicated, vast following of Objectivists, the film's producers should have no trouble garnering a large audience. Keep in mind that the only country where Lars von Trier's films don't do well is the US, and if Dogville can make $6 million without the help of a wide US release, then surely a film adaptation of one of the best works of literature of all time can accomplish this as well. More scary is your railing on big business, though. Businesses that are involved with the military industrial complex, the insurance/medical/banking cartels, etc., are only involved at the good graces of the government. Big business only has money, whereas the government has the power to initiate force. Yes, the moral fibers of a select few individuals are definitely to be questioned with regard to these relationships, but the only enabler in this relationship is the government, not the businessmen. A proper government would never combine the power of money with the power of force.
FRANCISCO D'ANCONIA on May 26, 2010
people who like the game bioshock will like atlas shrugged
sanjay on May 27, 2010
who's John Galt?
almartva on May 27, 2010
So JJ Abrams is praised when he uses no name actors on films like Cloverfield but these people are shunned for not daring to use ‘a-list’ actors? Atlas Shrugged will succeed because it is based on a story that has legs, that people relate to, and most of all, because it is a story with visible parallels to modern day reality.
J on May 27, 2010
I actually dislike Maggie G a LOT but she's be pretty much perfect for the role of Dagny. Anne Hathaway could maybe pull it off, too.
Barry on May 28, 2010
Maggie Gyllenhaal would not be perfect. It doesn't even matter really, because you don't start a movie without a cast and you especially don't cast Dagny, Galt, or Rearden at the very last minute. I hope Aglialoro sells the rights to somebody who will actually plan this movie out. *Comment 5 made me laugh
Andrew on Jun 10, 2010
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