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Why did Peikoff sell full creative rights of Atlas Shrugged?

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James Bond

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"Rand, a former Hollywood screenwriter herself, began writing her own screenplay, but died in 1982 with only one-third of it finished. She left her estate, including the film rights to Atlas Shrugged, to her student Leonard Peikoff, who sold an option to Michael Jaffe and Ed Snider. Peikoff would not approve the script they wrote, and the deal fell through. In 1992, investor John Aglialoro bought an option to produce the film, paying Peikoff over $1 million for full creative control."

I'm wondering why Peikoff would do this.

Anyone have any insights?

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Peikoff is usually open about his choices related to Rand's legacy, and he has likely commented about this himself. You may search for "Atlas Shrugged" in the podcast section of his site, or search for any audio commentary about Atlas Shrugged on ARI's site, or on their Atlas Shrugged site. I vaguely remember hearing him talk about this, but I cannot point you to exactly from where.

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An option is for a limited time. It isn't full ownership indefinitely.

But while the option is open, the ownership is there. If the Option is as described, then while it's open, Aglialoro could produce a steaming pile of goat dung, and Peikoff would have no recourse.

Presumably this means Peikoff has a lot of faith in Aglialoro's intentions. But Jaskn is right - better to look for info from the source.

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I sent a question in to Peikoff's podcast asking his opinion on the Atlas Shrugged movie currently in production. He didn't answer it on the podcast but I got a response from his assistant:

"Dear Gil,

The Estate of Ayn Rand sold the movie rights to Atlas Shrugged many years ago, to an individual whom Dr. Peikoff thought at the time to be an Objectivist. Dr. Peikoff, however, has discarded this opinion, and no longer has any connection to, interest in, or knowledge of the project.

In the light of recent articles in the Hollywood press, he has only the most dismal prediction in regard to the future product.


Kim Marzullo

Assistant to Dr. Peikoff"

So, it doesn't completely answer your question but it gives some insight.

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