In Ayn Rand’s novel Atlas Shrugged, the captains of industry bring the country down by going on strike, refusing to remain the motor of a society that despises them. You can’t have an economy without producers. Similarly, you can’t have a film without actors. Or can you?
For almost two decades, Hollywood has tried unsuccessfully to turn Ayn Rand’s 1100 page classic Atlas Shrugged into a feature film with actresses ranging from Angelina Jolie to Charlize Theron to Faye Dunaway. John Aglialoro, the entrepreneur who 17 years ago paid $1 million to option the book rights, is tired of the futility and is taking matters into his own hands. He’s announced that he is financing a June 11 production start in Los Angeles for the first of what he said will be four films made from the book.
The kicker is that June 11 is exactly two weeks away, but it appears that no talent has signed on to the film yet. Libertarians and their sympathizers have been waiting for many years to see Rand’s magnum opus on the big—or small—screen, and as this Deadline New York piece notes, there have been many rumors of big names to play Dagny Taggart. But one wonders if the producer—John Aglialoro is the CEO of Cybex International, a brand name known to anyone who’s visited a lot of gyms—understands how Hollywood works. The article says that he ”sent a missive indicating that he’s courting actresses like Theron and Maggie Gyllenhaal to play Taggart.” Actresses tend to schedule projects months in advance. That’s why you heard about Bradley Cooper signing on to the upcoming The A Team a year ago, and then heard it had started filming a few months later. (Isn’t that the summer movie everyone’s waiting for?) But maybe Aglialoro will manage to find someone with an opening in her schedule and persuade her to suit up quickly. Dagny does get three love interests, after all. But then he needs to find three leading men at short notice, too.