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"Atlas Shrugged" Movie

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How about Hugh Laurie (from the TV show House) for Hank Rearden? He's about the same age and he's great at sarcastic yet witty remarks.

I don't know if I'll ever be able to handle Blackadder's Price Regent playing Hank Readen.

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I've been thinking about an AS movie for a while, and one problem comes to bear - Galt's speech. It's really, really long, and I don't care if James Earl Jones delivers it, it's going to lose my attention at some point.

But, of course, how do you dramatize AS without the speech? It's the final major plot-event that sets up the climax!

It's a three hour speech.

I think that there is no choice. The speech must be edited to reduce its length drastically. One could use standard devices to make it clear that one is only hearing excerpts from a much longer speech.

Unfortunately, I am sure that this would result in Ayn Rand "rolling over in her grave".

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I don't think so. Ayn Rand was not unrealistic, and would have realized that nobody would sit through a 3 hour sermon in a movie that they expect to be entertaining. The speech should be cut down to the essentials. Leave out all the deep philosophy that most movie-goers won't understand anyway, and cut straight to the punchlines. But I agree that it could be made apparent that the speech is being told in pieces...this would, at least, leave some of the audience wondering and wanting to read the actual book.

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How about Gavin Rossdale for Ragnar and Gwen Stefanie for Kay Ludlow. Don't know about the acting abilities for either but I thought both looked the parts.

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He wore dark trousers and a dark blue windbreaker closed tight at hist throat, prolonging the lines of his long, slender figure. He wore a dark blue cap, and all that could be seen of him in the night were his hands, his face and a patch of gold-blond hair on his temple.

That is the description of Ragnar given when Rearden meets him and at the time I read that I thought of Gavin Rossdale. I don't know many famous Nordic men, if you do and think you have one then by all means suggest someone. I was just giving my humble opinion. Here's some pics of Gavin where I think he looks pirate-like. :confused:

post-435-1127633421_thumb.jpg

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Here's some pics of Gavin where I think he looks pirate-like. :confused:

He looks pirate-like. But Danneskjöld is not really a pirate.

The problem with this casting is you have to find people who actually display a wild sense of freedom and a strict intellectual discipline at the same time. These people are hard to find these days. :D

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I have a really hard time believing that this will be released in 2007.

I still hold that the story is simply not movie material. It's great philosophy, but philosophy typically makes for a boring movie. I loved the book, but I fear that the story would make for a boring movie.

Having said that, I'm certainly looking forward to its eventual release.

Edited by Moose

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I still hold that the story is simply not movie material. It's great philosophy, but philosophy typically makes for a boring movie. I loved the book, but I fear that the story would make for a boring movie.

I think the problem with AS in terms of its adaptability for the big screen is that there are many many sub-plots/sub-themes. The movie will have to be presented (if it's to be in one movie alone) in essentialised form. I can't say now how it would be essentialised but I'm guessing a lot of characters will be cut -- for instance Cheryl I'm betting won't make it into the film. I can't imagine what other liberties will be taken. It's a very difficult task and I don't envy the people working on it.

It should be done the way lord of the rings was, and even then peter jackson had to cut out a lot of story from the books.

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I think the problem with AS in terms of its adaptability for the big screen is that there are many many sub-plots/sub-themes. The movie will have to be presented (if it's to be in one movie alone) in essentialised form. I can't say now how it would be essentialised but I'm guessing a lot of characters will be cut -- for instance Cheryl I'm betting won't make it into the film. I can't imagine what other liberties will be taken. It's a very difficult task and I don't envy the people working on it.

It should be done the way lord of the rings was, and even then peter jackson had to cut out a lot of story from the books.

Indeed, imagine how long it would be if it was not considerably cut down to size. I do know how long it would be, just that it would be unbearably long for even the most fanatical AS fan. Its a good book, but to make a passable movie it will have to be seriously edited and restructured somewhat. I think that Cheryl would be one of the first characters that would be taken out. Along with alot of other interesting but not essential characters like the brake-boy.

I agree that it should be done in parts. AT least three long parts, or many shorter parts. This obvioulsy means that it does not have to be butchered so much, and it allows Galts speech to be abit longer than it would in a long, contiounous movie.

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Galt's speech needs to be drastically cut down. The reason is that people do not want to go to the movies to attend a philosophy lecture. No one wants to hear him say "A is A." The purpose of the movie should, in my opinion, to get the idea of individualism across, without going into all the underlying philosophy as it is explained in the book. It will pique people's interests and maybe get some of them to read the book, but going into deep philosophy will just bore people.

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I like Gwyneth Paltrow as well, however, Dagny actually had brown hair. Gwyneth could dye her hair and she'd still look good. Its on page 20, second paragraph:

"A sweep of brown hair fell back, almost touching the line of her shoulders."

Dominique Francon is the blonde one. I always pictured Grace Kelly for her but Gwyneth is called the modern day Grace Kelly so she could do Dominique as well.

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HEY! I know who could play Frisco! Joseph Fienness-- he's just dreamy *swoon.

And if Gwen plays Dagny that'd be cool since they've already been in a film together.

His eyes are too pretty. Unnaturally pretty.

imgpush.php3?d=ppwT7VxtZvXQg&type=ppcpic&cid=459&cpic=0083.jpg

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Galt's speech needs to be drastically cut down. The reason is that people do not want to go to the movies to attend a philosophy lecture. No one wants to hear him say "A is A."

I do! And I appreciate the "philosophy lecture" I received from the novel. I don't see why the movie can't do something revolutionary, and include a 3 hour speech in it. Who wants to sit through a 3 hour speech you ask? I think anyone.

People don't know that they could want it, because they can't imagine it being anything but their preconceived mental image of a 3 hour speech: that of a man talking in monotone about a dry, abstract subject that has nothing to do with the audiences life. But if you've heard lectures by Objectivist intellectuals, you will know how far from the case this can be. You will realise what a wonderful and rare thing it is to hear someone talking with certainty and clarity about philosophical ideas that are illuminating and practical and relevent to any listener willing to think, and how they can hold you to your seat and listen right through to the end.

It would be a brave and incredible stunt if the film producers actually questioned the premise that "There's NO WAY you can have a 3 hour speech inside a movie" and actually went ahead and did it. It would certainly make the movie highly talked about. Imagine someone caught unwittingly, not knowing in advance the long speech in the middle of the movie, and so they sit down drinking it in. 5 minutes in they are expecting it to finish. 10 minutes in, still no sign of finishing... and then they find they've sat there for half an hour and since they've listened to so much of it, they may as well wait and hear the whole thing. And so you've caught them. Chances are, they'll be grateful you had.

But of course, it would take an extraordinary group of people to pull this off: First convincing the producers to let them try it, then choosing an actor who can narrate the speech so that it is passionate and convincing and engaging.

In short it's not going to happen - but I really wish it would. :)

Here's a link to a page for the Atlas Shrugged movie on the production company's website.

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I do! And I appreciate the "philosophy lecture" I received from the novel. I don't see why the movie can't do something revolutionary, and include a 3 hour speech in it. Who wants to sit through a 3 hour speech you ask? I think anyone.

People don't know that they could want it, because they can't imagine it being anything but their preconceived mental image of a 3 hour speech: that of a man talking in monotone about a dry, abstract subject that has nothing to do with the audiences life. But if you've heard lectures by Objectivist intellectuals, you will know how far from the case this can be. You will realise what a wonderful and rare thing it is to hear someone talking with certainty and clarity about philosophical ideas that are illuminating and practical and relevent to any listener willing to think, and how they can hold you to your seat and make you listen right through to the end.

It would be a brave and incredible stunt if the film producers actually questioned the premise that "There's NO WAY you can have a 3 hour speech inside a movie" and actually went ahead and did it. It would certainly make the movie highly talked about. Imagine someone caught unwittingly, not knowing in advance the long speech in the middle of the movie, and so they sit down drinking it in. 5 minutes in they are expecting it to finish. 10 minutes in, still no sign of finishing... and then they find they've sat there for half an hour and since they've listened to so much of it, they may as well wait and hear the whole thing. And so you've caught them. Chances are, they'll be grateful you had.

But of course, it would take an extraordinary group of people to pull this off: First convincing the producers to let them try it, then choosing an actor who can narrate the speech so that it is passionate and convincing and engaging.

In short it's not going to happen - but I really wish it would. :)

Here's a link to a page for the Atlas Shrugged movie on the production company's website.

Erm, the above was meant to be an edit of my former post, but I clicked the quote button instead. Could a moderator rectify this please?

Edited by iouswuoibev

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I hate to burst your bubble, but most people are stupid and the idea of including a 3-hour philosophical speech in a movie, while appealing to us dorky philosophy types, would be a surefire way to see that the movie is in the theater for less than a week.

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I hate to burst your bubble, but most people are stupid

That's just what Robert Stadler thought. And you're wrong.

And I'll also add that the people who are "stupid", or just don't want to think, won't like the film regardless. It is a book based on a very different philosophy from the conventional, and thus it -must- be intellectual. Most people are going to be baffled by it just as they were with the novel - the kind of emotions and sense of life they are used to don't exist in Rand's world, and vice versa.

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I do! And I appreciate the "philosophy lecture" I received from the novel. I don't see why the movie can't do something revolutionary, and include a 3 hour speech in it. Who wants to sit through a 3 hour speech you ask? I think anyone.

Well you have to consider why people like to go to the movies in the first place. The average person dosent go to a movie because they want to see a "philosophy lecture", they go to a movie to be entertained and escape from there everyday life. Im not saying I agree with people who try to escape from reality, but most people nowadays pay $10 dollars because they like to forget about they're job, kids, bills, problems of the world etc.

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Let's check some premises. Atlas Shrugged was a novel. If it is going to be put on film, it needs to be changed to fit the new medium. Whether it is a movie, a movie with a sequel, a trilogy or a television series, a three hour lecture by Galt wont fly.

I think the scene should be a montage, that gives the impression of a really long lecture, but focuses on the different characters and different aspects of culture at crucial points in the lecture. People might be able to sit through a half hour of this.

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I have to agree with Jacob here. I took a film class and a montage was one of the ways to convey a lot of information across in a short movie-length time. To me it's not that a lot of people are stupid but most aren't even interested in philosophy to begin with.

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I listened to Peikoff's "Certainty and Happiness" last week and he made some comments about the movie during the question and answer session. I'll have to listen to it again and summarize what he said, but from memory these are some of his points:

  • Ayn Rand thought the movie would have to be 4-1/2 hours long
  • There were going to be "drastic omissions." Peikoff was asked to shorten Galt's speech to 5 minutes!
  • There is no way to convey the philosophy in a movie. The most you could do is say "There is such a thing as philosophy, and here is where to go for more information."

Peikoff also mentioned 5 things that he thought would need to be included for the movie to be a complete success as far as he is concerned. I don't remember all 5, but from memory, here are some:

  • Reason is Man's means of survival
  • Force is evil
  • Capitalism is the proper political system.
  • Sex is good

(Disclaimer: This lecture was recorded in 1989, so I don't know if Peikoff would agree with these points now.)

In regard to the first point, I think it would be possible to make Atlas Shrugged a longer movie, broken up into parts. "Lord of the Rings" succeeded as a trilogy, and I think AS could be done the same way.

As I said, I'm posting these from memory. I have to stay home tonight (I'm on call - part of having a real job ) - so maybe I can listen to this part of the tapes again and post a better summary of what Peikoff said.

Edited by Chumley

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