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Atlas Shrugged: Official Movie Trailer and casting

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  • 3 weeks later...

On his show today, Tuesday, March 29, Neal Boortz said that he will be having one of the producers of the movie on his show this coming Thursday, the 31st. I have no other details and cannot say when, during his three hour program, he will be having the discussion.

Edit: Here in Austin, only one hour of Neal Boortz's show is carried, that I know of. However, his show can be listened to online on multiple stations as identified on this site.

Edited by Trebor
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Reason.com has written up a piece for the upcoming Atlas Shrugged movie. I believe a month or so ago one of their writers saw an early screening and gave it a lukewarm review much like Yaron Brook et al.

At any rate, the main reason I bring up this article is because it has a section on page 3 titled "All the Objectivists Are Going to Fucking Hate Me"


‘All the Objectivists Are Going to Fucking Hate Me'

Aglialoro and company have a big advantage: the vivid hold that the novel has on the imaginations of millions of readers. That is also a big disadvantage. The filmmakers can't compete with a passionate fan's dream vision of what his favorite book should look and feel like on screen, Kaslow says—or with fans who decide to take on the dead Rand's mantle of control and disapproval.

In the novel, Dagny is a brunette. Would Rand tolerate a blonde woman in the role, as many griping on the Internet cannot? Well, she did once imagine Farrah Fawcett-Majors in the role. Could she tolerate a black Eddie Willers (Dagny's assistant), as again many fans apparently cannot? She never thought of skin color as essential, condemning racism as "the lowest, most crudely primitive form of collectivism."

Screenwriter O'Toole has been grappling with possessive Rand lovers daily on the movie's Facebook page. He will give out his phone number and personally win over people who are down on the movie before they've seen anything other than stills.

It would be unreasonable to expect Atlas Shrugged's actors to be Rand mavens. Bowler and Schilling are not much interested in discussing whether they are prepared to face Rand's philosophical enemies in the press as the embodiments of her heroes. Bowler tells me that dealing with the ideas of someone "so much loved, and so much challenged—that's an argument worth having." But he follows it up with the very un-Randian observation that "when you make ideas a certainty, you have the danger where you wind up wearing jackboots."

Even the two people doing most of the front-end promotion, Kaslow and O'Toole, walk the line between wanting Rand fans to be enthusiastically on board and downplaying the weight of the movie's message. "If you are asking, ‘Am I going to have to defend the philosophy?' " Kaslow says, "from my perspective in Part 1 there isn't very much that's really radical." Both men seem more comfortable selling Atlas as a corking tale of feminist empowerment—Dagny is one of the strongest, most complicated female leads in modern literature—than as a story of how the morality of the welfare and regulatory state is damning us all to hell.

Rand is a curious cultural and intellectual phenomenon, loved by millions but in essence telling the world that its dominant values are hideous moral evils, and that if you compromise with them (that is, if you try to live anything like a "normal" life), you are hideously evil yourself. It's not a feel-good Hollywood message, nor is it the typical Hollywood feel-bad message.

The actors are aware that Ayn Rand is a controversial figure of some sort, although Jsu Garcia—playing Francisco d'Anconia, the formerly brilliant business mind, now dissolute playboy—says he can't believe Rand was an atheist, as he finds so much spirituality in her work. Matthew Marsden, somewhat of a Hollywood right-winger with a honed contempt for politicians, does a subtle, cool job with Rand's villain, Dagny's brother James. He chuckles to himself after a line reading: "All the Objectivists are going to fucking hate me, aren't they?"

Surely, many of them will, and not just for being the villainous Taggart, but for being part of a public vision of Atlas that isn't theirs. Atlas was shot indie and on the fly, and it will be distributed the same way. The filmmakers plan to place the movie in theaters in 11 big American cities on the official release date of April 15, hoping for a huge per-screen opening weekend and to spread out from there. Kaslow points to the slow-rollout indie success of My Big Fat Greek Wedding as a model, and holds out hope that Atlas can be the "top-grossing indie film ever made."

Aglialoro has kept Rand devotees close from the beginning. He is on the board of the Atlas Society, a group that promotes Objectivist ideas, and has used the society's philosophical chief David Kelley to vet scripts for Objectivist bona fides all through the process. On the other hand, Rand's official heirs at the Ayn Rand Institute (owners of the atlasshrugged.com website) declined to comment on the movie, and if you only knew what they told you about the popular spread of Rand's ideas, you wouldn't know the film was even coming out.

The producers are working closely with various groups interested in Rand's small-government message to get early word out on the film. In mid-February, just as the film's trailer went public, Kaslow said they will be working with the Tea Party–oriented small-government organization FreedomWorks' online "Freedom Connector" program to gin up audience demand for showings of the film in specific cities across the country. Kaslow says they are initially most focused on letting Rand fanatics know that the film is really done and really coming out, "because the whole idea of a film has been in people's mind for a long, long time, with lots of false starts, expectations, and hopes. We want to create noise among that population and from that noise we think that then opens the door at least on a curiosity level to a broader population."

Edited by CapitalistSwine
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