Skip to comments.Cameras roll on 'Atlas'
Posted on 06/16/2010 4:59:02 AM PDT by raccoonradio
Production ends 30-year trek to bring pic to screen
The long-brewing feature version of author Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged" has begun shooting in Los Angeles as a $5 million indie produced by John Aglialoro and Harmon Kaslow.
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. 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," published in 1957, takes place in a dystopian version of the U.S. in which society has collapsed as the government gains increasing controlover industry. The decline occurs while the most productive citizens, led by John Galt, begin vanishing.
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.
There have been unsuccessful attempts to bring "Atlas Shrugged" to the bigscreen and TV dating back to the 1970s.
In 2007, Angelina Jolie was to star in a Lionsgate version, with Vadim Perelman directing and rewriting "Atlas Shrugged" from a script penned by Randall Wallace. Husband-and-wife team Howard and Karen Baldwin and Media Talent Group's Geyer Kosinski were set to produce.
If it’s Hollywood, their version will have John Galt as the evil, homophobic head of a multinational corporation, while Wesley Mouch is the noble hero.
(Hank Rearden) "Phillip," he said smiling, "call Miss Ives at my office tomorrow. She'll have a check for you for ten thousand dollars."
Phillip stared at him blankly; it was neither shock nor pleasure; it was just the empty stare of eyes that looked glassy.
"Oh," said Phillip, then added, "We'll appreciate it very much." There was no emotion in his voice... "By the way Henry, do you mind if I ask you to have Miss Ives give me the money in cash? You see, Friends of Global Progress are a very progressive group and they have always maintained that you represent the blackest element of social retrogression in the country and it would embarrass us, you know, to have your name on our list of contributors..."
He wanted to slap Phillip's face..He heard Larkin's voice crying after him, "Damn it, Hank! You shouldn't have given it to him.!"
(what you get when you deal with moonbats, Hank..)
Don’t see how in the world you can film this for $5M.
Maybe be like Ed Wood and use a lot of stock footage (trains etc.)? :)
...like Ed Wood
A lot of it is them talking in offices and hotel rooms. This is very cheap to film. It will also be the big problem with a film made from the story. Much of the story is dialogue. If they’re going to turn it into something that keeps the audience interested over a long time, they’re going to have to take a lot of liberties.
Disagree. You need scenes showing disasters, like the Tunnel scene and Project X. If its a 95% talk fest, then it cause a lot of people to yawn.
I was thinking that, too; the word used when a play is adapted into a movie is “stagy”—you get the idea that it’s just a filming of a theatrical performance. Under the wrong
hands, the same might apply to this book adaptation—just back and forth shots of characters doing dialogue. Music could be added, maybe some action shots while they talk
in the background, etc. but it could be tough.
I guess I missed it but on 6/1 someone did indeed post on FR that it was going to be filmed (and now filming is indeed underway):
John Aglialoro has gone public with his latest project to film Atlas Shrugged: an independent production set to begin filming June 11. Aglialoro decided to go forward on his own after the latest venture with Lionsgate Studios collapsed early this year.
After 17 years of working with major studios, only to see projects peter out from studio delay, unworkable scripts, and balky stars, Aglialoro has taken the entrepreneurial helm. Working with screenwriter Brian Patrick OToole, he has completed a script covering the first part of Rands novel (through the run of the John Galt Line and its aftermath).
Aglialoro expects the film to be released by the first quarter of 2011. He currently projects a three-movie sequence, following the structure of the novel. He has engaged Paul Johansson as director. Locations have been booked and casting is nearly complete.
Theres obviously a lot of risk in doing it this, says Aglialoro, head of Cybex, the exercise-equipment company, and a trustee of The Atlas Society. But taking risks for something you believe inthats what Atlas is all about. The strength of the project is what its always been: the power of Ayn Rands novel.
So, a film trilogy...a la Lord of Rings, etc.
Yes there def would be those scenes...but how do you afford those scenes on a $5 million budget? There have been cases of films on very low budgets going on to make mega money (Animal
House comes to mind IIRC), but will it happen here?
Dedicated Randians will no doubt find many things to object to in the movie. It might have been better to do a modern-day movie of people finding out what the book said was true, thereby avoiding the pitfalls of trying to keep it orthodox.
If done right and true...it will be epic.
Battle Beneath the Planet of the Atlas Shrugs?
The railroad industry is no longer the symbol of progress and mobility it once was and I can see Reardon Metal being replaced with the Reardon Battery, or some such alternative. And (with apologies to those who love the original) John Galt's speech could be shortened a bit and conveyed as a voice over photos and graphics (think Ken Burns) preempting every cable, satellite, and broadcast TV channel (along with radio and the internet).
A friend of mine who was raised by a hard core Liberal, nominally Catholic mother and is now as conservative politically (and "born again") as anyone I know told me reading Atlas Shrugged at the age of 20 something "changed her life". It is that kind of book and I sincerely hope the film makers can figure out a way to do it justice.
Will it come it at ten hours?
The three of them put together easily could.
I agree. I used to describe "Atlas Shrugged" as "preachy hyperbole", and then actual events exceeded what I perceived as "hyperbole"...ahh, the rueful sense of irony....