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Movie: Atlas Shrugged Moving Ahead

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Jodie Foster has too much of a southern accent, and it would be difficult to mask.

I personally would like to see Christian Bale play Galt. As for Dagny, I think Catherine Zeta Jones would be a good choice.

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Oh, no way could Catherine Zeta-Jones do it. Yes, she's absolutely stunning, but she's definitely latino, and Dagny is not. And if you're worried about accents, Zeta-Jones? She's from Wales! Not to mention that she shields her accent with varying degrees of success movie-to-movie (lately it's been better).

Christian Bale is a great actor who could definitely pull it off. But for me, he's just not attractive enough. Isn't Galt supposed to be about the most beautiful man alive?

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I don't know if Galt is supposed to be the most beautiful man alive ... handsome, yes, and certinly not a beast. Which creates an interesting question - since men are more visually stimulated than women, what do men think is handsome?

Based on looks alone - not acting ability or any other factor - who would, in your estimation, be a beautiful enough man to play John Galt?

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Anytime the discussion turns to casting Atlas, Pitt's name comes up for Galt. The consensus seems to be that it should either be Pitt, or an unknown.

One thing's for sure: if Pitt plays him, there will be major plot changes from the book. You don't cast Brad Pitt if you're going to leave him offscreen for two-thirds of the movie. I don't have my copy in front of me, but I think it's at least that far into the book before Galt makes an actual appearance.

Angelina Jolie doesn't fit my picture of Dagny at all! I see Dagny as having finer features than Jolie (as who doesn't?) and being not nearly so, er, top-heavy. Jodie Foster, anyone?

It was the Pitt screentime question that led me to hypothesize of a Francisco+Galt character merger. It would simplify the plot and keep him onscreen throughout, as in The Scarlet Pimpernell. Not ideal but it's conceivable. Hopefully the 2026 BBC miniseries will be more faithful to the plot.

I'm assuming makeup and wardrobe can help make Jolie look more professional.

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I think there are reasons why we generally identify actors like De Niro, Blanchett, Woodward, Phillip Bosco, Emily Watson, Franz, DuValle, Mirren, Brando, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Robin Weigert, Christian Bale, Ed Norton. . . as VERY, VERY good. And I don't believe Pitt never made the list because his good looks have upstaged him all these years. I think it's because he's not specific enough in his work and so tends to dull down his lines rather than landing them with conviction, far too often. He's just not as engaged as he ought to be. He also lacks a solid vocal instrument. A double whammy since one of the most notable things John Galt's character does is deliver a long speech. Given all that, I don't think there's a worse actor to do this than Pitt -- even if they cut it to a third.

Otherwise both Pitt and Jolie tend to play things from a singular point of view in just about everything they do. That may work fine for movie stars in roles tailored to their range but less fine in material that's not -- just ask Julia Roberts.

If the star loop doesn't yield any good, "available" fits, they should go the time honored route and audition. Isn't that one of the reasons David Chase has been so successful with Sopranos, he NEVER compromises roles with a lackluster fit. There are always a lot of known actors looking for work, so casting need never be the greatest worry. I think you can get much more resonant actors (certainly tighter fits and no I don't think the fact that both have recently taken to aviation is enough) for these roles.

Sure any production would bring exposure -- but a bad one, no matter how much cash they throw at it, (Waterworld anyone?) can also induce mass eye-rolling, snickers and/or snoring and shunting off product to DVD, fast.

It's been a long time coming, I hope they do it right.

Edited by ell

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For years, I have seen only Eric Close as the ideal John Galt. I truly don't understand the Brad Pitt fascination. Eric Close has a face that conveys no pain, fear, guilt, and such. Pitt's face conveys only "Brad Pitt."

eric%20close.jpg

Edited by davidmsc

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Imagine the following scenario -

Pitt (as Galt) is suddenly spotted working on some track or eating lunch with Eddie. "Ooh - ooh," everyone will say - "it's Brad Pitt! He must have an important role if he's in this movie. Who's this "John Galt" that everyone's talking about? Didn't I hear somewhere that Pitt was someone named Galt?!"

What is the new viewer to Atlas supposed to do then? If the directors/producers were smart they'd cast a complete no-name for Galt and refuse to reveal who it was until the movie came out. That way EVERYONE would be asking "Who's John Galt?" :P

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In Mr and Mrs. Smith they both played very Objectivist-ish characters and that element created an excellent film. I don't have the slightest clue whether or not Pitt is "beautiful" (even if such a gay trait could be applied to a man that might play Galt) or not, but I do know that Jolie while beautiful is way to thick to be playing Dagny.

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Pitt (as Galt) is suddenly spotted working on some track or eating lunch with Eddie. "Ooh - ooh," everyone will say - "it's Brad Pitt! He must have an important role if he's in this movie. Who's this "John Galt" that everyone's talking about? Didn't I hear somewhere that Pitt was someone named Galt?!"

Well, this will also happen if they use an unknown actor. Because once the movie gets started, he won't be unknown anymore. He will be interviewed to death during the pre-launch phase. He will appear in Magazines, the web and on TV. By the time the movie starts, everyone will know who John Galt is, no matter who plays him.

For years, I have seen only Eric Close as the ideal John Galt. I truly don't understand the Brad Pitt fascination. Eric Close has a face that conveys no pain, fear, guilt, and such. Pitt's face conveys only "Brad Pitt."

Hey, he would be a good fit. Where do you know this guy from? Never heard of him. Even though I had pictured Galt not with such a long face, this guy really is pretty close.

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For years, I have seen only Eric Close as the ideal John Galt. I truly don't understand the Brad Pitt fascination. Eric Close has a face that conveys no pain, fear, guilt, and such. Pitt's face conveys only "Brad Pitt."

eric%20close.jpg

Are you kidding? His face is full of pain. If the movie is made, one thing I know is that the actor who plays Galt will look fake, abominably fake in his actions.

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What is the new viewer to Atlas supposed to do then? If the directors/producers were smart they'd cast a complete no-name for Galt and refuse to reveal who it was until the movie came out. That way EVERYONE would be asking "Who's John Galt?" :)

Yeah, we want them to leave the theatre asking this: Who was John Galt? :P

I think that Angelina is a little too voluptuous to play Dagny. I mean, she just doesn't look anything like the character. While I suppose there are more important things to consider about the movie, I would prefer that they remain as true as possible to how the characters really look like.

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A double whammy since one of the most notable things John Galt's character does is deliver a long speech. Given all that, I don't think there's a worse actor to do this than Pitt -- even if they cut it to a third.
A third? It'll be 5 minutes long top; you cant have a 20 minute speech in a 2-3 hour long film.

Anyway, I cant say that I'm especially enthusiastic about the casting. I'd have preferred them to stay away from the standard Hollywood 'big names' and try to find some fresh talent. Brad Pitt especially strikes me as a poor decision. I dont really have high hopes for the film anyway though since its being made without Ayn Rand's creative involvement, but hopefully I'll be proven wrong.

Edited by Hal

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I personally would like to see Christian Bale play Galt. As for Dagny, I think Catherine Zeta Jones would be a good choice.
Yeah Bale is much closer to the mark for me too. Even Jones, though incredibly glamourous usually, has range. But Foster -- who does not have a southern accent in real life -- is probably the closest in resonance. Actually I saw a clip of Ledger in "Mountain", he might deliver a powerful performance with subtlety where needed. The Brits are often skilled, flexible actors, and their bodies, faces and voices tend to be in sync. They should explore the BBC roster. Lesser known actors -- including females --would be fine. Besides by the time they get around to the project Pitt will be 44, which might be workable if his skills were sharper but otherwise it's a bit old for Galt. Also by the time this wraps the Brangelina buzz will have quieted and the heat between them is probably how they're planning to sell the movie. The triangle which was tainted with lurid gossip is believed to be why Smith did well at the box office, in the first place (well that and some poorly placed explosions).

A third? It'll be 5 minutes long top; you cant have a 20 minute speech in a 2-3 hour long film.

LOL Even 5 minutes is an eternity to listen to someone talk blandly.

In any event they could certainly search the stage loop for more fertile ground for all the roles.

Edited by ell

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I hope the whole prospect of an Atlas movie hasn't come up because "V for Vendetta" made some money, and so they want to turn Galt in to a "V" style character fighting an oppressive government. That pompous twit "V" - I can't think of anyone less like Galt.

Hopefully if it does happen, and has big stars, at the very least it will be lots of publicity for AR and Objectivism.

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Although it would take some work, a creative idea would be to intergrate Galt's Speech into the entire movie, and have the truncated narrative follow the theme that is being presented. So therefore, the movie starts I Media Res and works its to its conclusion following a tight, philosophy backed plan.

Although that would definately be taking a creative license, then the two most important factors of the book, the plot and the message could be combined into one film.

And also Shrugged would definately make a better 3 1/2 movie than that train-wreck King Kong

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However handled, it'll need to be cut a lot for 3.5 hrs.

It's too bad they're not considering giving it the same treatment as 'Lonesome Dove" -- maybe one of the best things ever produced for television or on celluloid for that matter. It was originally slated for a feature film but they found they couldn't whittle it down to even 3 hrs without seriously compromising the story. So with a budget the size of the Grand Canyon (mostly location shots) and top guns like Duvalle, Glover and Huston they created a stunning 6 hours epic. It ran for three successive nights and I don't think there was a false note in it. Of course there was a lot of buzz about it because the book had just won a Pulitzer, which might explain the "spare no expense" attitude. And maybe also why CBS apparently sent their censors off on an extended holiday.

But things like that and "Sybil" -- which even Tom Fontana ("Oz") said couldn't air today --wouldn't get the green light now on the "nets". But on HBO it would work. Plus, you can bypass the glitzoid star loop entirely.

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Anyway, I cant say that I'm especially enthusiastic about the casting. I'd have preferred them to stay away from the standard Hollywood 'big names' and try to find some fresh talent.
To an extent I agree, but there needs to be at least a few names if it's going to attract a wide audience. Rearden and Dagny dominate the plot, so they would have to be the biggest names. So would d'Anconia. I think Galt should be the sleeper star, but no one as recognizable as Pitt.

Although, it's not necessarily a bad thing if Galt is a big star but doesn't have a speaking line until later in the film. There are lots of instances where the big name that draws in the crowds doesn't show up until later in the movie, or even dies half way through.

Casting is important, but the director is going to tell this story, and the producers are going to want to make sure their investment is going to pay off. That's where I have my biggest concerns; it's better to not do it at all than do it horribly wrong.

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That's the trouble with mainstream movies, they have to sell them to 14 year old boys who'll see them regardless of tepid reviews and buy lots of popcorn and snickers to keep the theaters happy. So they play it safe by saturating films with massive action sequences and special effects and stunt casting. But on the current 30M budget the action will be constrained by comparison, especially when you consider close to half the budget goes to advertising. Anywy that's why studio flicks are often such a compromise.

That said, if they do a studio film (though frankly I think there would be a big advantage in teaming up with HBO --thinking of the success of American Splender) Paltrow makes a lot more sense to me as Dagney.

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I don't know if Galt is supposed to be the most beautiful man alive ... handsome, yes, and certinly not a beast. Which creates an interesting question - since men are more visually stimulated than women, what do men think is handsome?

Based on looks alone - not acting ability or any other factor - who would, in your estimation, be a beautiful enough man to play John Galt?

Well, synthlord, I haven't been ignoring your post, I've just been having a hard time coming up with an adequate man. I searched the net for both male actors and models, but there's a fundamental problem: Rand's taste in men and my own do not perfectly coincide. She preferred men with angular faces, lean muscles, and exaggerated frames. To boot, I still think she considered Galt to be the perfect human (wasn't that the underlying point of the book?), which includes perfect looks. And I have a hard time picking one perfect. I consider a lot of different types of men to be beautiful, but as you can tell by my link, there is definitely a pattern as to what my main preference is. I think I prefer more exotic men than Rand, with slightly exaggerated facial features.

Your first inquiry, what do men find physically attractive in other men, since they are more visually stimulated than women, is interesting any way you look at it, from a heterosexual or homosexual standpoint. But that's for a different thread I guess.

The link has men that I either find to be basically perfect, or good candidates for Galt. So what about you, or anyone else? Do any of those men live up to your expectations?

138466205_ad0e68f7ba_o.jpg

EC:

I used "beautiful" as a way to refer to attractive physical qualities in men. It could have been "handsome," "good-looking," whatever. And there is nothing "gay" about another man being attractive. As far as I know, "gay" only has to do with two men actually having sex. You can't tell the difference between an attractive man and an ugly one?

Edit: I can't figure out how to get the image to size down, so if a moderator could do that for me, tell me how, or just remove it and keep the links, I would appreciate it.

Edited by JASKN

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To boot, I still think she considered Galt to be the perfect human (wasn't that the underlying point of the book?), which includes perfect looks.

Do you have any reference where Miss Rand said that being a perfect human included having perfect looks?

As for her considering Galt a perfect human being, I do think she said somewhere "You don't get further than John Galt" (paraphrasing) though I can't remember the reference.

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Yeah, she's made a number of comments like that, including flat out stating that the purpose of her writing is to portray men as heroic.

As far as perfect looks, it's basically a deduction on my part. I am not aware of her ever saying anything to the tune of, "He looked perfect," but she did say her husband looked like her idea of Galt, and she married him. And she's made a point to describer her heroes as physically on par with their minds, her idea being that lean bodies imply active bodies. Also, she's described facial features and expressions to correspond. I just don't see why she would exclude his face as being the only imperfect part about him.

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To an extent I agree, but there needs to be at least a few names if it's going to attract a wide audience. Rearden and Dagny dominate the plot, so they would have to be the biggest names. So would d'Anconia. I think Galt should be the sleeper star, but no one as recognizable as Pitt.

(...)

Casting is important, but the director is going to tell this story, and the producers are going to want to make sure their investment is going to pay off. That's where I have my biggest concerns; it's better to not do it at all than do it horribly wrong.

Yeah. The irony of an Atlas Shrugged movie being ruined by the desire to sell it to as many people as possible isnt lost on me :/

Edited by Hal

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Here's an issue that hasn't been raised:

1) It is impossible to make a film in the United States, Canada, US territories or (increasingly) Australia, New Zealand, Tunisia or Britain with a budget over $2M US without the involvment of IATSE. Any non-union production over $2M anywhere in their jurisdiction can usually be shut down by them, either through coercion or government involvement intervention.

2) AS is an anti-union book.

3) No union is likely to support or be involved in the production of an anti-union movie.

4) BEG likely doesn't have the testicular fortitude, so to speak, to make a stand on this issue.

How will this affect the film?

-Q

Edit: changed 'involvement' to 'intervention.'

Edited by Qwertz

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You can't tell the difference between an attractive man and an ugly one?

Not at all, I'm not gay. You can?

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