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Actors Shrug

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 [1]?

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.

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#1 Comment By Mike MacLeod On May 28, 2010 @ 4:22 pm

Dagny – Charlize Theron
Francisco – Johnny Depp
Hank – Russell Crowe
Lillian Rearden – Nicole Kidman
JG – Christian Bale
Hugh Akston – Harrison Ford

#2 Comment By Adam Rurik On May 28, 2010 @ 4:56 pm

Just because I disagree with the idea of America attacking every damn country that Israel wants you do does NOT mean I don’t think there are genuine threats.

I would be perfectly fine, for example, if you nuked North Korea and got rid of the demented (and annoying) Kim Jong Il. And, yes, I realize that civilians would die, but, based on the conditions they’re now “living” under, the poor bastards would probably be better off!

And you would not have to worry about China: That country is fully aware of MAD–Mutual Assured Depression. Their economy is in such a love-death embrace with yours that all they would do is issue condemnations and maybe bring home their Ambassador for a month or two.

In addition, as a child of the Cold War, I STILL don’t trust the Russians, regardless of what economic system they are currently operating under. (In fact, since capitalism breeds much healthier economies than Soviet-style policies, they are even MORE of a threat!)

Bottom line, my American friends: Leave Iraq. Leave Afghanistan. And leave Iran ALONE!. But don’t go all pacifist on us. Despite all the complaining we may do about U.S. foreign policy, the West still looks to YOU for leadership.

Speak softly or loudly, as you wish, but don’t put down that big stick.

#3 Comment By Michael Hardesty On May 29, 2010 @ 11:09 am

Adam, what is your post doing here ? I agree with most of what you write except for the really stupid idea of nuking North Korea or anyplace else. Our leaders have often been demented and annoying, so should DC be nuked ?
It’s real nice of you to try to justify mass murder on the grounds that the victims would be better off. But why should
you decide this ?
George H.W. Bush, when VP, told Gorbachev that Reagan was supported by all the blockheads and dummies. Your
comments here along with the innumerable talk show dummies underscore Bush Sr’s view of the conservatives as the stupid party pace John Stuart Mill.
On Atlas, it would be far better to do as a tv series for a year
or two max or a miniseries. A movie is a bad idea. We The Living is a great movie and Vittorio Mussolini played a big part in getting it released in wartime Italy. The Fountainhead ok but not nearly as good as We The Living.