“Atlas Shrugged,” the iconic philosophic novel by Ayn Rand, is finally before the cameras as a soon to be major motion picture – several major motion pictures, if the plans of the producers come the fruition. The process has been over 30 years in coming.
According to Variety:
“Cameras began rolling over the weekend on a five-week shoot for “Atlas Shrugged Part One” with Paul Johansson directing from Brian Patrick O’Toole’s script. (John)Aglialoro would have lost the feature rights if the film wasn’t in production by Saturday.
“A spokesman for Aglialoro — the CEO of exercise equipment producer Cybex — said there will be at least one more “Atlas Shrugged” shot after the current film’s completed. Rand’s massive novel is divided into three parts, each consisting of 10 chapters.”
‘Atlas Shrugged Part 1’ is being shot on a bare bones, independent film budget of five million dollars. Whether there will be a Part 2 or a Part 3 largely depends on the reception of the first film. ‘Atlas Shrugged Part 1’ stars a variety of TV and film actors.
“Johansson (‘One Tree Hill’) portrays Galt. The lead role of railroad executive Dagny Taggart has gone to Taylor Schilling (‘Mercy’) and the part of Henry Reardon is being played by Grant Bowler (‘Ugly Betty’).
“Michael Lerner (‘A Serious Man’) portrays lobbyist Wesley Mouch and director Nick Cassavetes has signed on for the Richard McNamara role. Other key cast include Matthew Marsdan as James Taggart and Graham Beckel as Ellis Wyatt.
“‘Atlas’ also stars Edi Gathegi, Jsu Garcia, Rebecca Wisocky, Ethan Cohn, Patrick Fischer, Neill Barry, Christina Pickles and Nikki Klecha.”
“Atlas Shrugged” is a story of how the world, particularly the United States, slowly collapses as governments seize more and more power over the private sector. The collapse is punctuated by the disappearance of the most productive members of society as they join a strike led by the mysterious engineering genius, John Galt. Dagny Taggart struggles to keep her railroad company afloat while she struggles to understand the forces that are slowly bringing down civilization.
“Atlas Shrugged” was published in 1957, and has proven to be one of the most popular novels in history. Indeed, as President Barack Obama seems to be attempting to grab more power for the central government, the novel has acquired an even larger popularity as it speaks to the crisis of our times.
The list of Hollywood movers and shakers who have tried to bring “Atlas Shrugged” to the big or small screen over the part 30 years include Clint Eastwood, Robert Redford, Faye Dunaway, and Angelina Jolie. Now, ironically, the Rand novel is being produced by a group of B-list players for not a lot of money. It will be interesting to see what the final product looks like.
Atlas Shrugged, IMDB
Cameras roll on ‘Atlas’, Dave McNary, Variety, June 14th, 2010
Ayn Rand and ‘Atlas Shrugged’ More Popular Than Ever, Mark R. Whittington, Associated Content, July 15th, 2010