Atlas Shrugged Movie to be a Trilogy

Atlas Shrugged movieI blogged the original announcement of the movie getting greenlit and starring Brangelina some time ago, but this latest news has me tickled pink. It’s gonna be a trilogy… if you can imagine.

Half of me wonders if Hollywood has concocted some secret movie formula that milks geeks of their box office dollars more efficiently (Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, The Matrix), and the other half is laughing because you just know that John Galt speech is so damn long it could be it’s own trilogy. Asymmetrical Information has the lowdown (via):

Anyway, I do enjoy Ayn Rand’s novels, just as I enjoy political realist fiction of all stripes (yes, I love those soviet movies with mighty-armed proletarians giving speeches to each other as they plant potatoes and fix their steely eyes on the bright Socialist horizon). But not in a religious fashion. So I was somewhat bemused to find out that they’re making a movie out of Atless Shrugged, possibly to star Angelina Jolie. A trilogy, in fact. Which, of course, makes one wonder: what percentage is taken up by John Galt’s 150 page speech? Is there any room left for hot Objectivist nude scenes?

One suspects that the folks in Hollywood have been deluded by the success of Lord of the Rings into believing that any book with a large following of slavish geeks will do well at the box office. But Lord of the Rings had rather more of a plot than Atlas Shrugged–somewhat too much, in fact. And the speechifying is rather minimal compared to Atlas. Even those of us who love Atlas–and really, is there any better beach reading?–have to admit that it’s more of a sermon with a cast than a fully realised epic.

Check out the original source for the scoop.

26 Comments
  1. I’d love to see a movie of ‘The Fountainhead’ – that one moved me more when I read it, anyway.
    Plus, I bet some architects could have fun trying to come up with a set that actually inspires in the same way as some platonic building
    existing in the imagination of the reader.

  2. I don’t know what book the writer of “the lowdown” read, but it appears not to be Atlas Shrugged. Whether one does or does not agree with the ideas the novel presents, it is recognized that its greatest appeal — and the reason why it continues to sell in the hundreds of thousands each year — is that it is above all else a supremely exciting plot-novel. It’s the story of a man who vowed to stop the motor of the word — and did. It’s the story of a world plummeting into disaster as the men of the mind abandon it, refusing any longer to accept guilt for their creativity and their wealth.

    And by the way, the speech given by John Galt is 60 pages long, not 150. It’s sufficiently readable that it is presented to their students by a great many highschool and college teachers in schools and colleges across the country.

  3. AS is also one of the world’s preachiest novels, right up there with Bratya Karamavozy and Voina i Mir. Which were also written by Russians, come to think of it :)

    That said, even a trilogy is too short for some books. LOTR had massive amounts of narrative cut (not to mention elvish poetry). Most important, of course, was the Scouring of the Shire, which from a libertarian POV is the cruellest cut of all: it shows the Second Amendment in action as the Founding Fathers envisaged. Nary a hint of that made it into the movie.

  4. Chris – I’ve bought the Fountainhead on eBay, and although I am a Randian type person, i wouldnt recommend you go out of your way to see it.

    I cant wait for these movies. I will be there opening night for sure.

  5. I don’t even get why so many libertarians think Ayn Rand is so dandy. I am a former Randian myself and I can still stomach a few of her ideas, but my libertarian beliefs actually pushed me away from her. Regardless of the fact that she’s a terrible writer and her books have incredibly contrived plots with simplisticly strawman villains, she holds an authoritarian stance on individualism, she loathed libertarianism, and all libertarians should understand that if everyone was an objectivist in a libertarian society, what “private charity” would substitute for the welfare state, especially for the handicapped, mentally ill, orphaned babies, and other people who do not have the capacity to help themselves? Who would waste their time volunteering or taking some of the lowest paying jobs in society to help people if not out of altruism? Her flaw: altruism is rarely self-sacrifice – it is about following a cause that is bigger than yourself. I think many Libertarians should know the feeling.

  6. th primary flaw with libertarians is that they fucking think too damn much.

    That is funny, I thought that was the primary flaw of Repugs and Dems.

  7. I think the filmmakers should do the monologue like this:

    Have Galt start the speech and then visually segue into a series of non-stop, fast-paced, shots from the past and present that relate to the ideas as he talks about them. I think that is the one problem people have with most movies is that audiences can hardly relate to the material – in other words, connect the dots like you are talking to a four year old. Then some people may catch on :)

  8. Nick… It appears quite obvious that you were never a “Randian” as you call it. I’m pretty sure you never actually read AS either, as it thoroughly kills your entire argument.

    Why try to pass for one who knows what he’s speaking of?

  9. AS neither kills nor proves anyone’s argument; it simply tries to present Rand’s ideas in fictional guise. As such, it was all carefully constructed, and is no guide to how similar events would work out in the real world.
    The plot is well constructed, but as predetermined as any Calvinist saga of redemption is. It’s not evidence of any kind.

  10. Reading Fountainhead and AS in young days helped me form some of my values. Mainly to believe in myself. Whether the Novels profess individualism or not is not the question. It just underlies the fact that a single human being can and will continue to change the world (for good or for worse.) History is full of such examples. The only way to stop the world from changing to worse is for every individual to think indipendantly and to be aware of the power of few individuals to influence the masses. In today’s Visual world where more time is spent watching TV than reading books, it is welcome news that AS is being turned in to movie – even a Triology. Hopefully many more minds will begin to think independently.

  11. Actually I did read AS a few years, and while it may be her best written novel, that does not make the philosophy realistic in any form of society. And I WAS a “Randian” at one point (might as well call a cult of Ayn Rand what it is.) When I was younger, the Fountainhead was my favorite book. I feel like the message of that book is strongest on the subject of artistic non-conformity, but the philosophical aspects are oversimplified when the book ends up being purely black vs. white by the end, ignoring the shades of grey that fill most real world scenarios.

    I was turned off when I realized many people in the Objectivist movement are individualist thought police, and ironically expect everyone to conform to an absolute ideal of non-conformity and selfishness. Be like Ayn Rand and you will be individualistic! If you are compassionate, religious or charitable, you are a conformist altruist scumbag!

  12. I thought Dagny was a metaphor for America — her first lover was raw materials (suitable for a colony), her second was and industrialist (a rapidly growing manufacturing sector), and she ended up with an engineer (true wealth comes from ideas.)

  13. Odd. Couldn’t find The Fountainhead on Netflix.
    Probably doesn’t say much to the quality.

    Ok. So a remake of it before Atlas Shrugged :)

  14. “Chris – I’ve bought the Fountainhead on eBay, and although I am a Randian type person, i wouldnt recommend you go out of your way to see it.”

    I have seen it. I actually found it in a movie rental shop back before DVDs existed. And I agree. It was pretty close to horrible.

  15. Who is more eloquent – John Galt or Bush? I’d rather read the Galt speech 3 times in a row than listen to Bush, so don’t complain about it being too long – in the book, it was a radio show. Some of these comments are pretty long-winded too – and tedious!

  16. I find the lack of critical thinking among journalists frightening. First of all, if Brang were libertarians, would they perch their asses in-front of cameras doing U.N. pr — presumably urging TPTB to send tax payer’s money to causes THEY deem important (meddling little sh!tbirds they are), before said money goes to taxpayer, so THEY can decide for themselves?

    Obviously their definition of “libertarian” is laughably elastic. THEY have the privilege of deciding where THEiR money goes but the less privileged hooples who do NOT perch in front of cameras at the U.N, don’t.

    Atlas Shrugged. If Angie wasn’t boinking Brad, and getting lots of publicity in the process, don’t you think someone with the flexibility and caliber of say. .Cate Blanchet would have been offered the role straight out of the gate? And Christian Bale? This is NOT about who’s right for the roles this is about , , ,well hell, just read “Atlas Shrugged”.

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