Thursday, June 7

Atlas Shrugged, the movie?

Apparently, they're working on a movie version of Ayn Rand's novel Atlas Shrugged to possibly be released in 2008.

Angelina Jolie & Brad Pitt in Atlas Shrugged?

The current "Atlas Shrugged" film adaptation has been looking very promising, with Jolie attached to play Dagny Taggart, the railroad executive determined to keep her business going while the society she lives in is falling apart. The story, which has sharp cultural and political resonances for today, has been scripted by Randall Wallace ("Braveheart," "We Were Soldiers"). It is to be produced by the Baldwin Entertainment Group -- which brought us "Ray" and "Sahara," among other films. Brad Pitt has been rumored as a possible casting for the character of John Galt, and there've even been reports of a projected 2008 release.

I didn't really see that coming. It's even got a pre-production page up on Imdb. I'm surprised that they apparently have Angelina Jolie playing Dagny. With her charity work, she seems to be a little too altruistic to play the lead in a Rand story.

Some other site was suggesting that it might be released as a trilogy, which seems logical because at 645,000 words spread over 1160 pages, it's quite a hefty tome. If squeezed down to a normal movie's length, it probably wouldn't be recognizable, though Rand was a bit redundant; the climax of the book is a 50 page speech. Also, it doesn't seem to be normal Hollywood fare. I'm sure with a little creative editing, Atlas Shrugged could easily be twisted into the story of a bunch of whiny rich people complaining.

Regardless, having read the book during last winter break it might be the first movie in a while that I'll actually feel motivated to see. The book wasn't a literary masterpiece, but it is quite different from the social ideas on which regular books are based. Having an environmental studies class last spring, I found it to have been a very good inoculation against their commune-Earth-worship. I hope the book getting out encourages more anti-collectivism in the country. coughnationalhealthcarecough

I gave my sister Atlas Shrugged a few weeks ago after talking to and finding out she's got libertarian leanings, too. It's a good stepping stone. I hope it doesn't mess her up. Even the libertarians at Reason make fun of Rand's Objectivists by making references to throwing people they don't like into a pit of hungry objectivsts.

Talking about Ayn Rand, between reading books for my summer anthropology class, I'm most the way through The Fountainhead. Brad mentioned what I had suspected, that the protagonist architect, or his architecture at least, is based on our very own Frank Lloyd Wright (click on the link, I dare you).

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