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"Atlas Shrugged" Movie

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I recently saw the two Pirates of the Caribbean movies. After watching them, I reflected on what I have seen of Johnny Depp's work. Willy Wonka, Nick of Time, et al. I think he is one of the best modern actors out there, and I would pay two or three times more per ticket if he were Galt, or even Ragnar. Depp yes. Pitt no.

The man has a pretty face, but he ain't John Galt. He's got too many pictures with a second hander's expression. The "I know you want me baby" type: here, here<- ("check me out baby, I'm so dark, mysterious and complicated, I'm deep, know what I'm sayin" type), and what the heck were you thinking when this picture was taken?.

The main thing that any actor who plays John Galt must have is the right look in the eyes, and I don't think anyone has it. I know one actress who can make a hell of a Dagny though: Ally Walker.

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The main thing that any actor who plays John Galt must have is the right look in the eyes, and I don't think anyone has it.
I agree. That's why I always wanted some unknown actor to play it. Somebody who did have that look, and who wasn't attached to any other role for us to visualize him playing. That would also lend mystery to "Who is John Galt".
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I've looked over this thread and it is long, but I haven't seen if anyone noticed David Kelly as listed as co-producer in this link at IMDB

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0480239/fullcredits

Is this is a different David Kelly than TAS/TOC and just a coincedence? The link of his name goes on to say he is a filmographer? Could be alarming.

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Even if it were the one you're thinking of, I wouldn't be too upset. The disagreements between ARI and TOC Objectivists are on issues that are too deep to be touched by a movie. This movie, I would imagine, will focus entirely on politics. I just can't imagine it going too deep into philosophy.

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The main thing that any actor who plays John Galt must have is the right look in the eyes, and I don't think anyone has it. I know one actress who can make a hell of a Dagny though: Ally Walker.

I like Ally Walker but Dagny had brown hair.

I see young Robert Redford as Galt (he is too old today). For me, the right look in Galt's eyes is a mix of self-confidence, self-pride, clarity of mind and values, and life optimism (the overall feeling - "larger than life")

robertredford1lq1.jpg

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I've looked over this thread and it is long, but I haven't seen if anyone noticed David Kelly as listed as co-producer in this link at IMDB

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0480239/fullcredits

Is this is a different David Kelly than TAS/TOC and just a coincedence? The link of his name goes on to say he is a filmographer? Could be alarming.

TOC David Kelley is indeed involved with the film, so I assume the listing on IMDB refers to him, although they spelled his last name wrong.

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I think I've got the solution to the problem of finding the right actors.

Why not produce Atlas Shrugged as an animated film?

Why? Consider these supporting reasons:

CGI animation is getting to the point where one can almost not tell a CGI character from a live actor (case in point, Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within).

Animation makes possible the ability to project the characters' true self through their expressions.

Totally new and unknown "characters" can appear fresh and without prior context of other film appearances.

Animation can provide a range of precise expressions that would be frustratingly near-impossible to achieve with human actors. IOW, the director can achieve that "certain" expression, working closely with a master animator.

Actual cost of production can be reduced because you wouldn't have to pay huge actors' salaries and there would be no sets to build, no streets and railroads to shut down for filming and no problems with the weather.

CGI is advancing at a stunning pace. They now have virtual camera controllers that a director can use to hand-hold the animation camera so that scenes appear to be shot with natural camera motion, as if a person were moving the camera, not a computer.

Character movements and facial expressions are done through motion capture now. Yes, 120 reflective dots on the actor's face are now captured as data, so full facial expressions can be captured as well as the body's movements. You would only need actors capable of the physical tasks that your film requires. It didn't matter if they looked like Attila the Hun or your aging Aunt Ethel. The facial expression data can be creatively altered later in the computers.

The remaining challenge would be to maintain the fidelity of the original story, and, given two hours, that would be THE biggest challenge. Many whole scenes from the book would have to be cut. In short, about 97% of the novel's dialogue and scene descriptions. Visuals would take the place of scene descriptions, but Rand's novels have a lot of dialogue, which would be much harder to distill.

That's my thought on this challenge. Think outside the box.

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Atlas Shrugged should never be made into a film.

In centuries past social and political commentary was regularly disguised as fiction so as to avoid the personal destruction of it's author. In modern times, with the wide-spread embrace of the principle of freedom of speech, this fear has been much allayed. Allayed but not extinguished. That Ayn Rand chose to present this truth camoflaged as a fictional anecdote, even in the midst of one the freest periods in human history, is completely understandable. The events played out in the novel gain counterparts in reality every day. Is there any reason to believe that the John McCain's, the Russ Feingold's, and every two-bit "hate crime" advocate won't begin making appeals for Objectivists to "come and help us find a solution to society's problems" within our life times?

John Galt's speech towards the end to Atlas Shrugged is the most seering indictment of evil ever conceived - let alone recorded. It is a complete, unequivocal denunciation of the root of every problem mankind has ever created for itself. The license Rand took in destroying the artistic integrity of her novel for the sake of "Galt's" message was well worth it. Galt's speech is the purpose of Atlas Shrugged; it is the reason it was written. It is what it is because it is what it is. If it is to retain it's power, not a single word of it can be altered, ommitted, or rearranged. It is the truth and it is the closest any one has ever come to uttering it out loud in reality with nothing but it's own merit as it's defense. There are already plenty of movies about the collapse of civilization caused by all sorts of things. A few sentences of Galt's words cascading over a series of shots of ordinary people huddled around their radios would strip the story of it's central point. The average audience member would be left in the dark. He would have nothing to make sense of the collapse except a series of opaque, yet extremely complex commentary referring to nothing climactic. Without the full speech, even the string of inexplicable disappearances would be explained only geographically, not philosophically. People retire to the country all the time, but it is Galt who explains that only heroes do so as a last resort.

Truths of the magnitude expressed by Galt cannot be condensed and still retain their magnitude. If Ayn Rand could not do it, certainly no screenwriter can. A 60-page celebration of fullness and clarity must be presented fully and clearly. If Atlas Shrugged were ever made into a film with Galt's speech intact, it would have to be 10 or 12 hours long to maintain it's proportionality. This is far too long for anyone to withstand the emotional sensitivity illicited throughout the story. There are virtually no low points. It is rare to find a paragraph who's purpose is merely to move the plot along and is devoid of intellectual content or emotional intensity. It is overwhelming just to read the story and imagine along with it

A trilogy would not work either. Galt's speech would have to be it's own episode and while it is primarily camoflaged non-fiction, it is also part of the plot. To take it in on it's own would destroy the plot yet to include it with plot elements before or after would discredit it's power.

Perhaps Rand could have truncated the speech in the first place to make the novel easier to adapt to film, but she didn't. We're all better for it.

- Grant

Edited by ggdwill
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If it is to retain it's power, not a single word of it can be altered, ommitted, or rearranged.

A few sentences of Galt's words cascading over a series of shots of ordinary people huddled around their radios would strip the story of it's central point.

...

Truths of the magnitude expressed by Galt cannot be condensed and still retain their magnitude.

This will be the ultimate tragedy of the movie, when it is made. This is probably the screenplay version:

"For twelve years, you have been asking: Who is John Galt? This is John Galt speaking. I am the man who loves his life. All the men who have vanished, the men you hated, yet dreaded to lose, it is I who have taken them away from you. Do not attempt to find us. We are on strike. I have removed your means of survival—your victims. We, the men of the mind, are now on strike against you in the name of a single axiom, that existence exists. My morality, the morality of reason, is contained in a single axiom: existence exists—and in a single choice: to live. If you renounce all personal desire and dedicate your life to those you love, you do not achieve full virtue. I, who do not accept the unearned, neither in values nor in guilt, am here to ask the questions you evaded. There have always been men of intelligence who went on strike, in protest and despair, but they did not know the meaning of their action. Unless you learn the answers to these questions, you will not stay much longer on this earth. Accept the fact that the achievement of your happiness is the only moral purpose of your life. Look past the range of the moment. You will win when you are ready to pronounce the oath I have taken at the start of my battle. I swear—by my life and my love of it—that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine. Thank you ladies and gentlemen, you've been a wonderful audience. I owe everything to my fans."

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I like Ally Walker but Dagny had brown hair.

I see young Robert Redford as Galt (he is too old today). For me, the right look in Galt's eyes is a mix of self-confidence, self-pride, clarity of mind and values, and life optimism (the overall feeling - "larger than life")

robertredford1lq1.jpg

Especially Robert Redford in how he looked when he played the Angel of Death in an episode of The Twilight Zone.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Amazingly, I just found out about the movie yesterday. I know they had made attempts at producing it before that came to nought and was shocked when an 'Objectivist' told me yesterday that it is actually going to happen. I see from forums here that people have been debating it for two years so I've spent the morning catching up on what people have had to say.

I have thought for a long time that I would like to see a movie made, but given the size, scope and need to keep the integrity of the book intact, I really doubted that it was possible. With that being said, Ayn Rand did want to see the book made into a movie if it was possible. Ultimately it was not possible in her lifetime because the people who wanted to develop the movie would not let her give the final approval to the script so she rejected it. (and rightly so)

Of course since then Peikoff has sold the rights to the movie so it requires no oversight from a person with beliefs in Objectivism. I think what we all fear is that the movie will be a terrible abbreviated production, large premises will be cast aside or even left misunderstood by the people in charge of the movie, and generations of movie-goers will be given a false presentation of Objectivism that will make it difficult for believers in Objectivism to accurately spread the philosophy. Our great defense to this worst possible outcome: The fact that all any free thinker who has had their curiousity picqued has to do, is read the book. No terrible movie will ever change the truth, intelligence and rationality that is Ayn Rand's masterpiece.

Going back to the movie, I think it IS possible for it to be a success because I don't believe that anything is impossible. I don't think it is likely, but nonetheless I will hold out hope. The key will of course be the screenplay. The acting, directing, producing will all be critical, but without an adequate screenplay the movie is doomed from the beginning. As for the actors, it does raise fascinating questions about who could and who would. This post is getting a tad lengthy so i'll send it now and write another one about might thoughts on the actors in a while.

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I would prefer to see Atlas Shrugged given the HBO miniseries treatment in order to get both the high quality and cover the whole story. The movie is going to have to cut out many parts aside from just Galt's speech.

However, a movie does get a wider audience so the fish net should be large enough to get many more people actually reading Atlas Shrugged and other Ayn Rand novels.

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Isn't the important part of AS the message? Couldn't the same message be delivered in a way that, even in large ways, deviates from the original plot? The way I see it, you can either be completely true to the plot or completely true to the message when you switch from book to film, as they are completely different media for art. Now, I know nothing about the people involved in this movie, but I do know that it is possible for a movie to be made which reflects the values if not the particulars(i.e. Galt's speech in full, every single scene, etc.) of AS.

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I know one actress who can make a hell of a Dagny though: Ally Walker.

hmmm. I have not seen her in anything, but she does have the look. This might still be a great pick tho. Sophia is right though, I think Dagny needs dark hair. So it is back to my favorite: Jennifer Connelly.

20060826013323-jennifer-connelly.jpg

aw hell. Who am I kidding. It's gonna be Jolie anyway...

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Goodness me! I wonder if Ragnar is the terrorist they mean.

Yeah... Ragnarama Bin Laden, right? Because they are idealistically the same? Piracy is Piracy, a is a......I remain hopeful that the writer of the synopsis has just misunderstood or oversimplified that aspect of the script.

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I remain hopeful that the writer of the synopsis has just misunderstood or oversimplified that aspect of the script.

Or, is simply preserving the mystery and suspense. After all, for most of the book you are made to think that's what he is.

Still, this whole movie thing scares me. I've recently re-read Starship Troopers and also re-seen the movie. If hollywood can do that to a book, then there is no limit to the depths that they can mess this up.

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Goodness me! I wonder if Ragnar is the terrorist they mean.

I heard a rumor that global (islamic extremist) terrorism would be written into the plot as another salient symptom of crumbling global civilization. Perhaps this is to make the movie setting more familiar to the majority of movie attendees who will have no background in Ayn Rand. I have no idea if this speculation is credible at all and I will not personally vouch for the veracity of this rumor.

Despite all of the bungling of movie adaptations from books, I highly doubt that our beloved Ragnar will be converted into a villain.

Edited by DarkWaters
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  • 1 month later...

I'm always on the lookout for someone to play Francisco, just because it seems like a hard role to cast someone for.

After seeing 300... Rodrigo Santoro?

He is actually not the image I got from reading the book -- that Christian Bale picture that was posted a while back was more along the right lines... but I just don't see Christian Bale pulling it off.

http://imdb.com/gallery/granitz/5865/Gerar...drigo&seq=5

He's on the right

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