Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum

"Atlas Shrugged" Movie

Rate this topic


Recommended Posts

  • Replies 728
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

Most people on this forum don't think with their nuts anyway.

I just watched it about five minutes ago. Part one of the three piece film will be released in only two months. Who else has seen it - (and who is looking into it now because of this post)? Good.

Does anyone else find that "If you double cross me, I will destroy you." line more fit for an Oliver Stone villain than an AR hero?

Posted Images

I wish somebody would get off their ass and get this thing done. :dough: Done properly, it could have a great impact, especially considering current events. I can't count the times I've heard people say things like "I feel like I'm trapped in Atlas Shrugged" or variations there of.

That's the key phrase: "Done properly..."

It *wouldn't* be done properly. It would be another Starship Troopers which if you've ever read the book and then seen the movie, would have enraged you. In today's Hollywood, any hope that it would be done properly is simply delusional. The people who own the rights to produce the movie aren't even remotely Objectivist.

I recall hearing that the rights revert to the estate at some point in the not too terribly distant future, however. Then all it would take would be an O-ist with a ton of cash to come along, convince the estate he could do it properly (or at least, ensure sure it is done right by the Hollywood shitheads as a condition of employment--that is if they can find anyone there who wouldn't get uppity about their "artistic freedom" to turn everything into a anti-capitalist anti-American diatribe). Frankly as unlikely as that is, it's more likely than the current group of clowns getting it right.

On a lighter note, it occured to me that you could have Ahnuld Schwarzenegger put on his terminator costume and play John Galt: "Come with me if you want to live..."

Link to post
Share on other sites
On a lighter note, it occured to me that you could have Ahnuld Schwarzenegger put on his terminator costume and play John Galt: "Come with me if you want to live..."

:dough: Thanks. I'm still at the beginning of Atlas Shrugged, and I think you just ruined for me. Well, not ruined, but I won't be able to get that out of my head.

Link to post
Share on other sites
That's the key phrase: "Done properly..."

It *wouldn't* be done properly. It would be another Starship Troopers which if you've ever read the book and then seen the movie, would have enraged you. In today's Hollywood, any hope that it would be done properly is simply delusional. The people who own the rights to produce the movie aren't even remotely Objectivist.

It isn't even the lack of Objectivist filmakers that's the problem. The real problem is Hollywood has a set of cliches and plot devices that appear in almost every movie, and many of these are tied up to an altruistic morality. What's worse is that the audience expects such things in their movies.

I'll cite one example: "Clear And Present Danger." In the book the renegade Cuban spy, Cortes, goes through a lot of effort to make the secretary of the FBI director an unwitting source of information. When the drug lords he works for kill the FBI director, he's enraged because that cuts him off from hsi best long-term source of operational intelligence. In the movie he simply kills the secretary himself at about the time the FBI director is murdered. That's bad enough. What's worse is that the friend I was watching the movie with, nodded at the scene and told me "she knew too much!"

So there you have allegedly smart characters acting idiotically beacuse the cliche demands it, and my friend, who's quite smart himself, is delighted he spotted the cliche. Yuck!

Another cliche much loved by Hollywood is the sudden-reversal. This can be done effectively, as when Darth Vader realizes that's his son being tortured to death in front of him, and turns agaisnt the emperor. But usually it's horribly misshandled. And a major plot device is the love triangle.

I'll leave you to imagine how that would play out among Dagny, Francisco, Hank and John. I suppose one of the men would "sacrifice" himself for Dagny's happiness, as opposed to the rational way they act in the novel.

It can get much worse, too. It wouldn't be too hard to turn the roles around, making Jim Taggart, Boyle, Mouch and Mr. Thompson the "heroes," and Dagny, Francisco, Hank, John Eddie and Ragnar the "villains," all while having essentially the same set of events taking place. How? well, here's part of how: Mouch heroically deserts the reactionary Rearden in order to assume a humble government position (where he gets a lower salary) in order to serve the "little guy." Jim Taggart can be the "idelaistic" businessman who tries to serve the country rather than work for profits, with Dagny as a shrew and gold-digger that lords over him to get him to actually do something productive.

I'll repeat D'kian's First Law of Moviemaking: Nothing is so simple that Hollywood can't FUBAR it (FUBAR is a militray acronym meaning F***ed Up Beyond All Recognition).

BTW the Starship Troopers movie was a victim of D'kian's First Law, but in a much worse way. One thing Holywood does very well is the visual effects extravaganza, sometimes the visuals even ahve something to do with the plot. In this case they missed the boat on the power suits, which would have made for the most stunning battle scenes ever filmed.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Casino Royale, 300, The Dark Knight, Iron Man and Gladiator were made by today's Hollywood, so I do have some hope for Atlas Shrugged. The outcome of the Atlas Shrugged movie will probably be similar to that of the Lord of the Rings triology in many ways – the product will be decent, and it'll be very inspiring to a large amount of people, but the true fans who "read the book" will find countless things to criticize. I'm sure that after Atlas Shrugged is released, as it inevitably will be one day, this forum will suffer a fate similar to that of numerous conservative forums during the "Ron Paul Revolution" – it'll be invaded not by "Paulbots", but by "Randroids" – intolerable youngsters who keep quoting Ayn Rand instead of thinking for themselves, not understanding any of the underlying philosophy. Most of them will probably be attracted to the Libertarian Party instead though.

I'm convinced that Christian Bale, Russel Crowe, Gerard Butler, Daniel Day-Lewis and Robert Downey Junior would be able to fill the role of almost any Objectivist character in Atlas Shrugged – they all have the sort of appearance and demeanor that greatly appeals to many Objectivists' sense of life. Guy Pearce and Daniel Craig would also do great.

I keep trying to envision what the Atlas Shrugged movie might be like if it was hyper-romanticized and hyper-exaggerated, such as 300 was.

Edited by JMartins
Link to post
Share on other sites
The outcome of the Atlas Shrugged movie will probably be similar to that of the Lord of the Rings triology in many ways – the product will be decent, and it'll be very inspiring to a large amount of people, but the true fans who "read the book" will find countless things to criticize.

I hope so, but I wouldn't count on it.

I'm convinced that Christian Bale, Russel Crowe, Gerard Butler, Daniel Day-Lewis and Robert Downey Junior would be able to fill the role of almost any Objectivist character in Atlas Shrugged – they all have the sort of appearance and demeanor that greatly appeals to many Objectivists' sense of life. Guy Pearce and Daniel Craig would also do great.

There are plenty of actors who can fill any number of roles well in AS (or for that matter The Fountainhead and We The Living). That's not even a question. But are there script writers and directors capable of understanding what the novel means and of translating that properly into a decent adaptation?

Link to post
Share on other sites
BTW the Starship Troopers movie was a victim of D'kian's First Law, but in a much worse way. One thing Holywood does very well is the visual effects extravaganza, sometimes the visuals even ahve something to do with the plot. In this case they missed the boat on the power suits, which would have made for the most stunning battle scenes ever filmed.

Nope.. the problem with Starship Troopers the movie was NOT that they didn't put the guys in power suits. They could have had them running around naked, it wouldn't have made a difference.

Starship Troopers was NOT a book about guys bouncing around in powersuits blowing things up, in the same way that Atlas Shrugged was NOT a book about building railroads.

Starship Troopers had a ton of thinking in it on political philosophy and the role of the military. This did not come through in the movie, at all. A scene where Sergeant Zim threw a knife at a target to end a discussion on why infantry is even needed, turned into a senseless bit of cuelty in the movie--he threw the knife into his interlocutor's hand, pinning it to the target (and of course in the movie they saved budget by having it be Lt. Raczak in boot camp--silly but forgiveable).

Link to post
Share on other sites

Starship Troopers (the movie) wasn't even originally called that. It was originally a movie called "Bug Hunt". At some point they realized it was superficially similar to Starship troopers, and changed the title and character names.

There is a vast divergence between the original book and film. A report in an American Cinematographer article around the same time as the film's release states the Heinlein novel was optioned well into the pre-production period of the film, which had a working title of Bug Hunt at Outpost Nine; most of the writing team reportedly were unaware of the novel at the time. According to the DVD commentary, Paul Verhoeven never finished reading the novel, claiming he read through the first few chapters and became both "bored and depressed."[6]

Starship Troopers

Edited by Scott_Connery
Link to post
Share on other sites
Nope.. the problem with Starship Troopers the movie was NOT that they didn't put the guys in power suits.

You're right.

I should have said in addition to leaving out the best parts, they also missed the boat on the power suits, which would have been visually stunning. Visuals are not to be despised, when warranted, and the power suits play a role in the novel's plot.

Starship Troopers had a ton of thinking in it on political philosophy and the role of the military. This did not come through in the movie, at all. A scene where Sergeant Zim threw a knife at a target to end a discussion on why infantry is even needed, turned into a senseless bit of cuelty in the movie--he threw the knife into his interlocutor's hand, pinning it to the target (and of course in the movie they saved budget by having it be Lt. Raczak in boot camp--silly but forgiveable).

They merged Raczak with Johny's History of Moral Philosophy teacher (Col. Dubois?) Sim, I think, was a separate character. But that's trekkie nit-picking. The movie implied a sort of fascist semi-dictatorship. The book had a more pragmatic, range of the moment kind of politics, with Libertarian leanings.

Link to post
Share on other sites

As far as Hollyweird messing up A.S. - I can see that happening. A friend of mine, who is also an Objectivist, is having her screenplay FUBAR'ed. The movie, if it ever gets made, is going to be nothing like the book it's based on. Though...the Fountainhead was made, and say what you will about the quality of the movie...the central theme was not turned into some altruistic nightmare. Of course, this was a while ago.

...but I'm wondering...how did the rights to A.S. ever get sold in the first place?????????????? It seems totally out of character for the folks at the Ayn Rand Center to let something like this happen voluntarily.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree Steve, Starship Troopers was a travesty. I'll admit I was amused by the writer and director's commentary track on the DVD, they spent a lot of time talking about how much they hated the ideas in the book and wanted to attack them with the film. I remember watching the film and thinking "OK, here's technologically advanced world with no racism, no sexism, very little crime, almost everyone appears very healthy and happy with a high standard of living and no poverty, and you're trying to tell us this is a BAD thing?"

Starship Troopers had so much promise. It could had been an incredible film, handled properly.

I like the idea of Morgan Freeman in the film, however I see him more in the role of Hugh Akston. He has that "Guardian/Teacher" type presence that comes across very well on film, and he takes those sorts of roles in most of his work. I agree Daniel Day Lewis would be an excellent choice for Hank Rearden, He has an incredible intensity to him that would fit he character of Rearden well.

Link to post
Share on other sites
I like the idea of Morgan Freeman in the film, however I see him more in the role of Hugh Akston. He has that "Guardian/Teacher" type presence that comes across very well on film, and he takes those sorts of roles in most of his work. I agree Daniel Day Lewis would be an excellent choice for Hank Rearden, He has an incredible intensity to him that would fit he character of Rearden well.

To add to this I think Donald Sutherland would make a superior Dr. Robert Stadler.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Though...the Fountainhead was made, and say what you will about the quality of the movie...the central theme was not turned into some altruistic nightmare. Of course, this was a while ago.

Ayn Rand wrote the screenplay for that movie. You can check it at http://us.imdb.com

Having hte author do or approve the screenplay does not ensure the best possible movie adaptation, but it des insure the author's wishes are respected. In Rand's case it means her ideas are presented the way they should be presented.

I like the idea of Morgan Freeman in the film, however I see him more in the role of Hugh Akston. He has that "Guardian/Teacher" type presence that comes across very well on film, and he takes those sorts of roles in most of his work.

Morgan freeman is a superb actor. He can handle any role he's given. He could do Hugh Akston justice.

Link to post
Share on other sites
...but I'm wondering...how did the rights to A.S. ever get sold in the first place?????????????? It seems totally out of character for the folks at the Ayn Rand Center to let something like this happen voluntarily.

Yaron Brook spoke about this at a breakfast I attended almost a year ago, and although I don't remember the exact details, it goes something like this....

The rights to the movie had already been granted to the studio a long time ago, and expire in a few more years. Yaron said he hopes the movie gets bogged down until the rights expire, then ARI will have more control over any future projects. (Or something to that effect.) :unsure:

Link to post
Share on other sites
The rights to the movie had already been granted to the studio a long time ago, and expire in a few more years. Yaron said he hopes the movie gets bogged down until the rights expire, then ARI will have more control over any future projects. (Or something to that effect.) :unsure:

Do anyone here know which year the property rights will return to the estate?

Edited by JMartins
Link to post
Share on other sites
Oooh, that's an interesting choice. He has the right combination of intelligence, amiability, and condescension. Very nice.

In my opinion Donald Sutherland is the best bit part actor alive today.

Link to post
Share on other sites
In my opinion Donald Sutherland is the best bit part actor alive today.

I used to loathe him, bcause he'd play all these hippies or iconoclasts snarking on America or something good. But in recent years, I've seen him take on some terrific roles, and he is a terrific actor. My favorite role of his is as Mr. Bennett in Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. He's fantastic.

Link to post
Share on other sites
I used to loathe him, bcause he'd play all these hippies or iconoclasts snarking on America or something good. But in recent years, I've seen him take on some terrific roles, and he is a terrific actor. My favorite role of his is as Mr. Bennett in Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. He's fantastic.

I've liked him since he played "Odd Ball" in Kelly's Heroes, but the role that cinched it for me was his portrayal of a British Regimental Sergeant Major in "Revolution" with Al Pachino.

Back draft was another classic Sutherland role where he played the pyro.

Link to post
Share on other sites
...but I'm wondering...how did the rights to A.S. ever get sold in the first place?????????????? It seems totally out of character for the folks at the Ayn Rand Center to let something like this happen voluntarily.

According to sources on Wikipedia, Leonard Peikoff sold the rights (including full creative control, which was a drastic mistake) for $1 million in the early 90's to some Objectivist investor.

They were supposed to have made progress on the script, turning it from a two-parter to a 127 minute movie, and then the Director left for some reason. (I've always toyed with the idea of writing the first 30 minutes/pages and sending it to them for kicks)

Personally, I think a mini-series would be much better for the novel, in terms of depth, but we'll see.

Link to post
Share on other sites
According to sources on Wikipedia, Leonard Peikoff sold the rights (including full creative control, which was a drastic mistake) for $1 million in the early 90's to some Objectivist investor.

They were supposed to have made progress on the script, turning it from a two-parter to a 127 minute movie, and then the Director left for some reason. (I've always toyed with the idea of writing the first 30 minutes/pages and sending it to them for kicks)

Personally, I think a mini-series would be much better for the novel, in terms of depth, but we'll see.

I don't think a mini-series would capture the audience in the same way as a movie would, and you couldn't get the big names that would draw in non-objectivists.

I still like a suggestion I heard once which was to make it a 3-part movie. It's a risk, but if it's done well, that movie would gross a ridiculous amount of money.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.


×
×
  • Create New...