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Who Should Play John Galt In Atlas Shrugged?

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Denzel Washington? Umm... Galt is a white man.
:) Really! I didn't realize :P . Seriously though, if the movie retains the historical setting of the book, based in the time where passenger train travel was big, then a black track hand might actually work well; but, a black engineer might not be so believable.

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:) Really! I didn't realize :P . Seriously though, if the movie retains the historical setting of the book, based in the time where passenger train travel was big, then a black track hand might actually work well; but, a black engineer might not be so believable.

This is fiction. I see no reason why it has to be historically stuck in America's past.

The description of Galt is such that he is unlike any other man looks wise. His description had always reminded me of the character Doc Savage. Ron Ely played the part of Doc Savage in the mid- 1970s. While the movie was bad, Ron Ely was tremendous in the roll. If Ron Ely were younger, he'd be great for the part of Galt.

As for now, I don't know. I thought of Val Kilmer, but I think he's better for the roll of Ragnar.

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Seriously though, if the movie retains the historical setting of the book, based in the time where passenger train travel was big, then . . . a black engineer might not be so believable.

I agree with that. But if it takes a more modern or even futuristic setting, Denzel all the way.

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Here is the description of John Galt give in Part III, Chapter 1 of AS that might help.

...his skin was suntanned, his body hard, the gaunt, stensile strength, the clean precision of a foundry casting, he looked like as if he had been poured out of metal, but some dimmed, soft-lustered metal, like an aluminum-copper alloy, the color of his skin blending with the chestnut-brown of his hair, the loose strands of hair shading from brown to gold in the sun, his eyes completing the colors, as the one part of his casting left undimmed and harshly lustrous: his eyes were the deep, dark green of light glinting on metal.
I was trying to find an aluminum-copper alloy. Apparently these are referred to as "aluminum-bronze". There are some pictures on this page, although nickel is mixed in the alloy in some of the pictures.

This is why I thought of Doc Savage, aka "The Man of Bronze". It might require that the actor have a bit of a makeup job for the part.

Kitty Hawk

He had dark hair, not blonde,

The hair is described as "chestnut-brown", not blonde.

Btw, didn't she also think of Clint Eastwood? Somehow I remember his name being mentioned.

Edited by Thales

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How about Morgan Freeman (such a distinguished father figure) for Hugh Akston and Tim Robbins for Robert Stadler?

And Catherine Zeta Jones for Dagny.

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How about Morgan Freeman (such a distinguished father figure) for Hugh Akston...

I was thinking this myself, but didn't suggest it because it would contradict my position on new talent. I should revise my position -- Only new talent for the main protagonists.

I like the idea of casting Morgan Freeman as Akston. And I could picture a lot of famous actors as the villains. Like Robbins as Stadler, and either Kevin Spacey or David Cross as Jim Taggart.

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How about Morgan Freeman (such a distinguished father figure) for Hugh Akston and Tim Robbins for Robert Stadler?

I like those ideas. The movie Shawshank Redemption is one of my favorites, and both actors were great in it. "Get busy living, or get busy dying. That's god damned right"! :D

And Catherine Zeta Jones for Dagny.

I love her looks, but I'm wondering if she's too feminine for the part. I was thinking more along the lines of a Jodie Foster.

I don't watch lots of movies, so I'm not up to speed on many actors, but I did see Troy, and Diane Kruger could do the roll justice, as per realitycheck44's suggestion.

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For some reason I'm really partial to the idea of this movie being an animated one; for some reason I'm fond of that medium and I think it's a good way around some of the character roles everyone seems to be fearing for certain characters. The geometry of Galt's face, for instance, is pretty important [the "angular planes" and such are meant to indicate his tendancy towards the man-made as opposed to the circuity of nature and what-not] and I have a hard time imagining who could assume this role.

That said, I will still offer my suggestions from a live-action standpoint, since if it IS ever produced it certainly won't be animated anyway: and besides, live action is more fun to speculate anyway.

I'm currently favoring Clive Owen for Galt; perhaps not so much on virtue of his appearance [the particulars of which can be handled fairly well with makeup], although it's close enough. To me, the defining measure of this particular pick is his voice: Owen delivers his lines in a manner which I have not seen in many other actors; he speaks with a certain clarity in every role I've seen him in to date, and that's very important for Galt. I can't believe anyone would suggest Christian Bale with a straight face.

I really like Sean Bean for Galt too; Sean Bean has a certain air about him I've always liked and he also has a voice I've liked--I particularly enjoyed the way he delivered the best line in Fellowship: "It's strange that we should suffer so much fear and doubt over so small a thing"--for some reason that [and Owen's] is the kind of voice I'd imagine for Galt.

I like Sam Neil for Rearden. Don't know how to qualify this any further; I just do.

Dagny's a tricky one; and I really don't think anyone here is prepared to agree with just about any suggestion, because most actresses have done roles we hated and we don't want to see Dagny brought down to the level of $HOLLYWOOD_ACTRESS, and frankly I can't say as I'd blame anyone for that. From what I can remember of her physical description, she's good looking, but not too good looking. We also have to remember to scale her age appropriately with Taggart's [my suggestion for him will follow shortly], so the age discrepancy shouldn't be so great as to prevent us from believing that the two characters came out of the same woman. From what I've seen so far I'm liking Jodie Foster, and can't think of anything better although if there's a better suggestion I'll know it when I see it.

Ragnar is a tough one, but I really like the Viggo angle here. I know Rand characterized Ragnar as being uber-beautiful, but if we want to follow too closely for that we'll just end up with some pretty-boy. If we wanted to follow convention [eww] we could always go with Orlando Bloom, but I think he's a tad too young--and I don't think anyone in the audience could ever be made to believe he went to college at the same time as Clive Owen, who is infinately more age-appropriate in the first place.

I have no idea who could or should play Francisco, so I'm going to go with a really oddball pick here; you might laugh at first, but he has a really flexible look, and with the right makeup work and character direction, he could do it. Brace yourselves: Johnny Depp.

James Taggart should be played by David Huddleston; the guy who played the Big Lebowski in... uhh... The Big Lebowski. This is one of the picks I refuse to budge on; it's goddamn perfect.

I like Morgan Freeman as Askton; he's probably the most cerebral character in the book and Freeman is always really good at coming off as a good thinker-type. In Bruce Almighty, he did a better job of convincing me that God really exists than the Bible could ever hope to do.

Anthony Hopkins should be Richard Halley; nice and aged and distinctive; probably looks really good in a tuxedo too.

I like Ed Norton for Eddie Willers. Ed Norton kicks ass. Might have to age him a few years but he works. I liked the Elijah Wood suggestion but he's too young; we have to remember here that Willers hung out with Dagny and Francisco as children.

If he pulls off the Ceasare Borga role [http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0358241/] Colin Farrell may have the chops neccessary to be our Ellis Wyatt. If not, I may have to revise this pick. He's sort of on the fence, but his performance in Minority Report was good; seemed similar personality-wise too.

For Midas Mulligan, I'm all about Bruce McGill--the guy who played the boxing promoter in Cinderella Man.

Now for the villains [exceptiing Taggart who I've already covered]:

Rickman is the best suggestion I've seen for Dr. Ferris; can't really go against this.

Ian Holm for Stadler. I think he'd do a good job of losing his mind near the end.

Alex Norton for Wesley Mouch. Can't find a pic of him offhand, but he's a sort of pudgy, balding bookish-looking type dude. He was in Patriot Games and The Count of Monte Cristo--he played Dennis Cooley and Napoleon, respectively.

I think Philip Seymour Hoffman would make a good Mr. Mowen. I had suggsted him to myself originally as Orren Boyle, but Hoffman is a little too sly for that, I think.

Now I might be a bit biased with this next pick, but Bertram Scudder is the worst character in the book to me--I've found him so far to be the most consistently irritating, obnoxious and depraved character: I dont want anyone who watches this movie to take him seriously so if I were producing this I'd write an obscenely large check to Gilbert Godfried and hope he'd jump aboard for something of a pseudoserious role. Intellectually, he [scudder] is what I consider to be the comic relief anyway; his ideas are so ridiculous that my mind almost refuses to consider anyone else for the role.

Geoffrey Rush is my pick for Orren Boyle, since he's not exactly a face you could get attached to, and he's a good enough actor to not screw up the role. He's also a pretty good villain in Pirates of the Carribean [he was Barbossa], so I'm pretty confident with this one. Completely age appropriate too.

I think that just about covers it; if I left anyone out I'm sure I'll rush back here to add my two cents.

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Dagny's a tricky one; and I really don't think anyone here is prepared to agree with just about any suggestion, because most actresses have done roles we hated and we don't want to see Dagny brought down to the level of $HOLLYWOOD_ACTRESS, and frankly I can't say as I'd blame anyone for that. From what I can remember of her physical description, she's good looking, but not too good looking. We also have to remember to scale her age appropriately with Taggart's [my suggestion for him will follow shortly], so the age discrepancy shouldn't be so great as to prevent us from believing that the two characters came out of the same woman. From what I've seen so far I'm liking Jodie Foster, and can't think of anything better although if there's a better suggestion I'll know it when I see it.

My suggestion: Claire Forlani

http://www.claireforlani.com/

She is feminine with an uncomprimising look. Then again she may be the best Dominique I can think of.

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And I think I remember Francisco being paler than Banderas...

I remember D'Anconia being all the romantic/dramatic type.

Banderas suits me just fine.

And I do think that there should be some high-power, but quality, stars in this film.

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For some reason I'm really partial to the idea of this movie being an animated one; for some reason I'm fond of that medium and I think it's a good way around some of the character roles everyone seems to be fearing for certain characters. The geometry of Galt's face, for instance, is pretty important [the "angular planes" and such are meant to indicate his tendancy towards the man-made as opposed to the circuity of nature and what-not] and I have a hard time imagining who could assume this role.

That, and cost, are good reasons to do it via computer animation. With animation you could make the characters look just as you want them to look. However, I'd still prefer to see it done with real people. I think it'll feel more real that way.

I'm currently favoring Clive Owen for Galt
Hate to say it, but I'm not familiar with him. I don't watch much TV or go to many movies. :thumbsup:

I really like Sean Bean for Galt too;

If you're going to mention the guy who played Boromir, (a good thought) then I think I'd more go for David Wenham, who played Faramir.

Okay, I've been thinking for this for a while and I finally have a thought for John Galt.

Russell Crowe! Russell Crowe has the voice, the ability to play heroic parts, and he's a brilliant and versatile actor.

I like Sam Neil for Rearden. Don't know how to qualify this any further; I just do.
I think of Rearden as being somewhat grittier. Perhaps more like Liam Neeson, as we suggested by someone else. The movie Rob Roy comes to mind. Or, another choice, Jeff Bridges.

Dagny's a tricky one; and I really don't think anyone here is prepared to agree with just about any suggestion, because most actresses have done roles we hated and we don't want to see Dagny brought down to the level of $HOLLYWOOD_ACTRESS

I hear you. But, this, sadly, is true of almost any actor you pick. Left wing nuttiness is pretty prevalent in Hollywood, I'm afraid.

I'm liking Jodie Foster, and can't think of anything better although if there's a better suggestion I'll know it when I see it.
I'm with you on this. I wouldn't mind Diane Kruger, however. [insert joke here]

Ragnar is a tough one, but I really like the Viggo angle here. I know Rand characterized Ragnar as being uber-beautiful, but if we want to follow too closely for that we'll just end up with some pretty-boy.

Man, too bad George Peppard isn't alive and young. But, I'm still thinking Kilmer for this one. The guy is a brilliant actor and has the looks. He also has that quality where he looks like he's having fun.

I have no idea who could or should play Francisco, so I'm going to go with a really oddball pick here; you might laugh at first, but he has a really flexible look, and with the right makeup work and character direction, he could do it. Brace yourselves: Johnny Depp.
Depp is good, but I think you need a more Latin look. This is why I like the Antonio Banderas choice.

I like Morgan Freeman as Askton; he's probably the most cerebral character in the book and Freeman is always really good at coming off as a good thinker-type. In Bruce Almighty, he did a better job of convincing me that God really exists than the Bible could ever hope to do.

No question. Spencer Tracy would have been ideal for this roll, as well.

Now I might be a bit biased with this next pick, but Bertram Scudder is the worst character in the book to me--I've found him so far to be the most consistently irritating, obnoxious and depraved character: I dont want anyone who watches this movie to take him seriously so if I were producing this I'd write an obscenely large check to Gilbert Godfried and hope he'd jump aboard for something of a pseudoserious role.

I have to say. That's a pretty clever idea.

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Clive Owen could pull off Galt. But he doesn't look like Galt, unfortunately. I really can't picture him with blond hair.

George Peppard for Ragnar, all the way! Great suggestion. :thumbsup:

As for modern actresses, the only ones that have enough class to play the part of Dagny are Nicole Kidman and Jodie Foster. The problem is, Kidman is beautiful while Dagny was not. However, as we saw in The Hours, Kidman was made to look pre...tty unacttractive! So she just might work. Jodie Foster has the attitude needed, though.

Edited by Liriodendron Tulipifera

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Hate to say it, but I'm not familiar with him. I don't watch much TV or go to many movies.
Clive Owen played Dwight in Frank Miller's Sin City and, as far as I'm aware, will be a major player in the sequel as well. If you haven't seen this movie yet sign off, shut down your computer, drive to Blockbuster or whatever video rental outlet is closest and go see it now! Easily the best movie of 2005; as far as I'm concerned it's the best movie to hit the screens since 1994's Pulp Fiction.

If you're going to mention the guy who played Boromir, (a good thought) then I think I'd more go for David Wenham, who played Faramir.

Errr.... I disagree. A lot. Not only is Bean much more good looking, he's got more of what I imagine to be Galt's facial features. They do look like brothers in LotR, but Faramir's face is a bit softer--not something we want for Galt.

I don't like Crowe either [even though he's a good actor and could probably handle the role]. His face is too squat.

think of Rearden as being somewhat grittier. Perhaps more like Liam Neeson, as we suggested by someone else. The movie Rob Roy comes to mind. Or, another choice, Jeff Bridges.
My previous list was something of a collaboration between me and my brother; the more I think about it the more I favor my initial suggestion of Mickey Rourke; bulked up like he was in Sin City for the role of Marv.

Man, too bad George Peppard isn't alive and young. But, I'm still thinking Kilmer for this one. The guy is a brilliant actor and has the looks. He also has that quality where he looks like he's having fun.

I disagree with this one too. Kilmer doesn't have any qualities which strike me as being anything near Scandinavian; Mortensen has the advantage of being Norweigan, just like Ragnar. I think he could handle the role better, even if Kilmer is better looking.

As far as Depp for Francisco, the thing you have to remember here is that the Latin look will have to be authenticated primarily by means of the makeup job and accent coaching. If I recall correctly, Francisco is from Argentina anyway, and they tend to be a bit paler than most Latin Americans [i know as I happen to be in love with one of them]. It wouldn't be too much of a stretch and I think Banderas is a bit over the top for that role.

Clive Owen could pull off Galt. But he doesn't look like Galt, unfortunately. I really can't picture him with blond hair.

George Peppard for Ragnar, all the way! Great suggestion. :thumbsup:

Peppard is dead [i think], and Galt doesn't have blonde hair anyway; it's brown. The minor facial differences could be fixed with makeup; and at any rate my major lynchpin for Owen as Galt has to do with his voice and how he carries himself onscreen.

Also, a few other names have occured to me that I'd like to see in a project like this but I can't find a place for them [maybe someone else can]:

Ed Harris, Jude Law, and Guy Pierce. Guy Pierce played the main character in Memento and the main villain in The Count of Monte Cristo. He might make a good Pritchett.

Edited by Melkor

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We still have nobody for Francisco.

Any suggestions?

Antonio Banderas, anyone?

I think Christian Bale would make a good Galt, and Anthony Hopkins would be an excellent Hugh Aksom. Still no ideas for Dagny or Rearden that I like. What about Ragnar, and Richard Halley? And what about the villians? It would take a skilled actor to pull off James Taggart.

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For Francisco I nominate Wentworth Miller of Prison Break. You have to see the fineness of his features by watching the show. Pictures do not do him justice. Francisco is more the roman looking Latin. I don't think he has Indian or African features. It's more of the mediterranean look, if that means anything.

Anyways, I used to think it an absolute that Jude Law shall be Francisco. I have changed my mind. Wentworth is ten times more beautiful than Jude Law.

Anyone agree?

Jose Gaiinza.

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http://www.rte.ie/arts/2006/0427/joliea.html

Apparantly there is talk of Jolie and Brad Pitt.

I think it is a bad idea. I think they are media whores myself (not that there's anything wrong with that, I just find in annoying), and while I have enjoyed some of their films, I think they both would be too much of a distraction to the film. I am still trying to recover from Jolie's horrible, horrible English accent in Tomb Raider 1 and 2...and that accent in Skycaptain and the world of tomorrow...though it seemed appropriate there.

And, I guess I would spend the whole movie thinking: Would Dagny be off adopting little babies in Cambodia on her vacation? probably not. Would John Galt be supporting John Kerry for president? Probably not. See...my probably I couldn't get this stuff out of my head...but those two are just so in your face with their personal lives that, well, I think it would interfere with the message of the movie.

I also think they should do it as a mini-series. Thats what Rand intended. (I wish I could find the link...I read that online a week or two ago...dang my mortal mind!) It would be awesome if it was made for HBO or showtime and shown as a miniseries, say over maybe 12 hours. I think that would work. After all, how can you take a 1200 page book and shrink it to a 2 or 3 hour movie?

Yes Jude Law is a good looking fella, but he isn't really Spanish or Latin America. I think a younger version of Antonia Banderas would be awesome for that role. How about...Benicio Del Torres? I think he could pull of Francisco perfectly, and should be in the age range.

Edited by Sherry

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Angeline Jolie could pull off any part in this movie, because she can play anything, even when she has to be ugly (Girl, Interrupted). The most important factors in casting these rolls: facial beauty and flawless acting skills. Brad Pitt isn't so good, so I would not like to see him in this movie. In fact, I can't think of any actor right now to fill those rolls, beauty-wise or based on acting ability. Some excellent, beautiful young actresses: Natalie Portman, Naomi Watts... well, Gwyneth Paltrow isn't beautiful, but she's a young, amazing actress.

Casting is difficult, as this thread shows, so I'm actually more concerned about a good casting director for the movie. They know what to look for and how to look for it, and they have a plethora of new talent available to them at all times, not to mention every known star. Too bad I'm not familiar with any casting directors to pitch my hopefuls.

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Lions Gate pictures is known for making small indie films that turn out kind of big and they are also known for staying out of the directors way and not pushing for the high profile kind of stuff. This being said, I can't see how they will get more than one big Hollywood star, so I think it might be better to discuss which role should be played by a big actor/actress and who. Then come up with all no-name actors and actresses for the rest of the roles.

My vote is Clive Owen, I never thought of him until now, and he seems like a good choice. My favorite actor though is Johnny Depp, if there were a weird enough role he would probably play that. Are there any characters that have scissors for hands or make candy in Atlas Shrugged that I forgot?

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My favorite actor though is Johnny Depp, if there were a weird enough role he would probably play that. Are there any characters that have scissors for hands or make candy in Atlas Shrugged that I forgot?
Perhaps Ellis Wyatt? Edited by FeatherFall

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